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State stops giving away free photo IDs

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The state of Missouri has stopped giving out free IDs to those who would have needed them to vote in November.

A judge ruled last week the requirement to show an ID as unconstitutional.

The ruling is expected to be appealed, but the Department of Revenue says the ruling also means it can't issue free state ID cards for voting. That means the cost now returns to the usual $11.

The Revenue Department said it's asking the attorney general's office to appeal the ruling, so it can continue work during the appeal. A spokesman for the attorney general says the office will ask the court to clarify what the Revenue Department can do while the case is played out in courts.

The department also said Monday it's halting more than 60 visits scheduled to nursing homes and other centers for the elderly and disabled to help provide ID cards to those who can't get out to obtain one. So far, the agency said it had issued 2,074 ID cards for voting.

The department has estimated 138,000 voters may lack government-issued photo identifications.

The secretary of state's office, meanwhile, also said that with the court's ruling against the law, it put on hold plans to send mailers this week to about 200,000 homes informing them of the new ID requirements. The order prevents the office from acting, plus it would waste money and confuse voters, spokeswoman Stacie Temple said.

The rest of the new law remains in effect, including a provision eliminating the option of voting a straight-party ballot by checking one box; prohibiting people registering voters from being paid per name submitted; and creating penalties for intimidating or preventing people from voting.

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