Voting ID standards changed for election Tuesday

Friday, March 30, 2018

Photo ID now sought following changes in state law

Due to changes in state law by the Missouri General Assembly in 2017, voter identification requirements for those going to the polls on April 3 will be different.

Lawrence County Clerk Gary Emerson said Missouri now has a new Photo Voter ID law which states identification options for registered Missouri voters to use on Election Day at their polling location.

"Most Missourianís have a Missouri driverís license or non-driver license, which is acceptable photo ID for voting," Emerson said. "Showing this type of ID is also the quickest way to get through the check-in line and vote your ballot."

Voters also have the option of providing a Missouri issued driver or non-driver license, U.S. passport, or military ID. Barry County Clerk Gary Youngblood said those are all official government documents. A university ID badge will also suffice.

As a second option, election authorities will also accept a secondary form of ID, such as a paycheck or bank statement and sign a statement confirming their identity. Anyone using this method will have to sign an affidavit stating they had no photo ID in their possession at the time of voting. If the voter has no form of ID, but is a registered voter, they may cast a provisional ballot. Staff at the county clerk's office will then have to compare the signature on the provisional ballot with a signature on file to determine the voter's identity before counting the ballot.

"I know we're going to have a few people without photo IDs," Youngblood said. "I'm asking my people to steer voters to the first option [with a photo ID]. If people come back with a photo ID, we won't have to go through the extra checking. I've held off sending out voting canvass cards because of that. The Secretary of State wants a list of everyone who votes without a photo ID."

People without a photo ID will receive a letter, either from the county clerk's office or the Secretary of State, instructing them on how to acquire a free photo ID before the next election.

"Either way it will cost taxpayers money," Youngblood said.

Clerks in both counties had to change the software in the electronic pads used to sign in voters to meet the new identification requirements.

After the April vote, Youngblood and Emerson will mail out letters to all registered voters in the county to update records for the correct address and names prior to a federal election. A new yellow canvass card will replace the old voter registration card. Voters should check those cards to see that the information is accurate. If not, the correct information needs to be submitted in writing to the clerk's office and the incorrect card returned.

Those receiving a card for a relative who no longer lives in the county or is deceased should contact the county in writing with that information, as well as the relative's name and date of birth.

Emerson cautioned that the canvass cards do not meet the photo ID standard and will not serve as a substitute.

Additional information about the canvassing process is available by calling Emerson at 417-466-2638 or Youngblood at 417-847-2561.

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