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Advancement Project National Office Celebrates Major Victory in Missouri Voter ID Supreme Court Case

WASHINGTON, D.C.On Tuesday, January 14, Advancement Project National Office, in partnership with Missouri voting rights advocates, celebrated a significant legal victory in the defeat of a key provision of Missouri’s restrictive voter identification law. In a 5-2 decision in Priorities USA v. Missouri, the state Supreme Court struck down a provision requiring voters to present identification with a photo to cast a ballot. Previously, voters lacking a photo ID were forced to either cast a provisional ballot or sign an affidavit, a legal document attesting to their lack of approved identification, to vote.

“The Missouri Supreme Court decision is one more indication that restrictive voter ID requirements are about blocking access to the ballot box, not preventing voter fraud,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office. “For communities of color, the poor and the elderly – who are less likely to possess an approved photo ID – this decision is a first step in undoing the targeted scheme to suppress their vote. The Supreme Court’s decision is a huge win for Missouri voters and we are committed to continuing the fight to expand access to the ballot box.”

In Priorities USA v. Missouri, the Supreme Court found that advertisements produced by election officials misled Missourians into believing photo identification was required to vote, creating an atmosphere of confusion. It also ruled that requiring voters without an approved photo ID to sign a confusing affidavit was unconstitutional.

“If we want voters to participate in our democracy, the task ahead remains fighting to ensure that our elections are free, fair and accessible,” continued Browne Dianis. “We must protect the voting rights of the most marginalized communities and ensure they’re able to build power through the electoral process.”

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Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.

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