Statement from Missouri Voter Protection Coalition on Amendment 6

For Immediate Release: November 8, 2016
Contact: Ricardo A. Ramírez, 202-905-1738, rramirez@advancementproject.org

 

Statement from Missouri Voter Protection Coalition on Amendment 6

 

We are extremely disappointed that Missourians no longer have their right to vote protected in our state’s constitution. The passage of Amendment 6 is unprecedented as the first effort in the nation to strip a constitutionally protected right to vote from a state constitution.

“Legislators pushed forward the effort to pass a confusing amendment in order to implement a restrictive photo ID law they knew was unconstitutional,” said Missouri State Conference of the NAACP President Nimrod Chapel.  “We will work with the community to make sure the rights of Missouri voters are restored.”

Missouri now joins the ranks of 17 other states that have put restrictions on voting since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. The 2016 presidential elections were the first in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act in place.

“The tactics of voter suppression laws have changed since the days of literacy tests and poll taxes, but the outcome of making it harder for people to vote remains the same,” said Denise Lieberman, Advancement Project Senior Attorney and coordinator of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition.

For more than a decade, the three dozen organizations of Missouri Voter Protection Coalition that includes civil rights advocates, faith leaders, community groups, the labor movement, and legal experts have been fighting to block restrictive photo ID laws in the state.

We will not stop now.

“It is tragic that the Missouri constitution has been stripped of its voter protections,” said AFL-CIO President Mike Louis. “This marks a step backwards for Missouri and our country.”

Missouri’s photo ID requirement could still be subject to legal challenge under other provisions of state and federal law, including the United States Constitution. Legal advocates with the coalition are examining all avenues of redress to protect the rights of Missouri voters from this restrictive and discriminatory Photo ID law.

“As educators, we teach the value of fairness,” said Missouri NEA Executive Director DeeAnn Aull. “Sadly, Amendment 6 is unfair to hundreds of thousands of Missourians who will be kept from the ballot box.”

Many groups -- from advocacy organizations to legal watchdogs – will continue to work to challenge this new, harmful voting restriction.
"The Missouri Sierra Club is disappointed Missouri voters chose to approve Amendment 6, which will make it harder for many Missourians to vote in future elections. We applaud the work of our coalition partners and will be undeterred in continuing our work."

If you are an organization or individual interested in working with us to restore voting rights to the Missouri Constitution, please contact one of our coalition partners.

“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy,” said Jeffrey Mittman, ACLU of Missouri Executive Director.  “We will work together with the community to find the best way to restore voting rights to all Missourians.”

Amendment 6 will go into effect in 30 days after today’s election. The state’s photo ID law -- also known as Missouri House Bill 1631 -- becomes effective June 1, 2017.

 

Missouri Voter Protection Coalition: AARP Missouri, ACLU of Missouri, Advancement Project, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), A. Philip Randolph Institute, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Communities Creating Opportunity, Communications Workers of America (CWA),  Delta Sigma Theta, Empower Missouri, Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis (JCRC), Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU), Missouri Faith Voices, Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA), Missouri Jobs With Justice, Missouri League of Women Voters, Missouri Organizing and Voter Engagement Collaborative (MOVE), Missouri Rural Crisis Center,  Missouri State Conference of the NAACP, NARAL, National Council of Jewish Women – St. Louis (NCJW), National Education Association (NEA), Organization for Black Struggle (OBS), Paraquad, Peace Economy Project, Planned Parenthood, Progress Missouri, PROMO, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Sierra Club, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), Working America, and What U Can Do.

 

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