When is a voter ID law not a voter ID law?


(I wanted to start this post with something clever, but didn’t want to bury the important stuff.)

It’s true, though: Missouri passed a law a few years back that everybody said required folks to have a photo ID to vote. But it doesn’t. In fact, last week a judge told the Secretary of State’s office to stop telling people they needed a photo ID. Because you don’t. You just have to have something that establishes your identity.

If your ID happened to be something that wasn’t a current, valid, Missouri photo ID, the folks at your polling place were supposed to have you sign a statement that said that you understood that you needed to get a photo ID, but they didn’t stop you from voting. Now, the polling place should not even ask you to sign that statement.

Here’s what you can use to establish your identity for voting purposes in Missouri:

  • A current Missouri driver’s license or non-driver ID
  • An expired Missouri driver’s license or non-driver ID
  • A passport
  • A military or dependent ID
  • An employee photo ID issued by a department of the state or federal government
  • A student ID issued by a college or other post-high-school educational institution
  • A driver’s license or non-driver ID from a state that isn’t Missouri
  • A voter registration card
  • A utility bill sent to your name at your current address
  • A paycheck stub or government check stub with your current name and address
  • A bank statement with your current name and address

Any of those things will allow you to cast a vote in the usual way in Missouri, as long as you’re a registered voter. Now, if you show up to the poll and don’t have any of those things, but you are a registered voter, you can still vote, but you’ll have to vote on a provisional ballot (remember provisional ballots?).

So if you don’t have a photo ID, or you lost your driver’s license the day before the election, don’t despair. Come vote anyway.