Voting Rights Act ruling could lead to stricter legislation in Missouri

Aug 1, 2013

Credit KBIA/file photo

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 effectively ended a policy of requiring certain states and jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination to obtain federal approval before making changes to its election laws. 

While Missouri wasn’t one of those states, some feel the decision could embolden the state’s Republican-led legislature to tighten voter rules. Denise Lieberman is the Senior Attorney for the Advancement Project, a non-profit civil rights organization.  She works with its Voter Protection Program. Appearing on KBIA’s Intersection on Monday, Lieberman said she expects another fight in Missouri over photo ID requirements at the polls.

"We could certainly expect to see those attacks come again here in Missouri, Lieberman said. "We’ve been fighting restrictive voter ID proposals here in this state since 2006 and have every reason to believe that we will see that legislation come up again in the next legislative session."

According to Lieberman, Missouri passed a measure requiring a photo ID to cast a ballot in 2006, but it was later overturned by the state Supreme Court. She said during the last legislative session, another voter ID attempt passed the State House, but didn’t make it through the Senate before the session adjourned. Supporters of voter lD requirements say they reduce voter fraud.  Lieberman said she’ll encourage people to challenge a voter ID bill if it’s introduced.