St. Louis area Democrats are using an appeal of a court ruling against Missouri’s voter photo identification law as a rallying cry in the state’s competitive race for U.S. Senate.
U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-University City, joined Democratic members of the Missouri General Assembly Monday to demand that Attorney General Josh Hawley drop his defense of the law. A Cole County judge last week declared unconstitutional the sworn statement voters who used non-photo identification like a utility bill had to sign to cast a ballot.
“Instead of stepping up to protect the voting rights of these Missourians who are most at risk of being disenfranchised, our AG, Josh Hawley, is appealing Judge [Richard]Callahan’s ruling in order to suppress the vote of minorities, the disabled and the rural poor who are most likely to vote for his opponent,” Clay said.
Hawley is locked in a tight U.S. Senate race with the incumbent Democrat, Claire McCaskill.
State Senator-elect Karla May, D-St. Louis, said Hawley’s decision made the contrast between the two even more stark, and sought to use it as a rallying cry.
“On November 6th, vote against any person that’s running for office that’s trying to stop you, the people, who are the government, from voting,” she said.
Hawley told St. Louis Public Radio after a campaign appearance this past weekend that he was “gratified” Callahan had upheld most of the law, but that an emergency appeal directly to the state Supreme Court was still necessary.
“It does introduce quite a bit of uncertainty in a significant portion of the law right before the election, so we hope that we can quickly address and get this resolved and get the rules clear by election day,” he said.
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