JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Advocacy groups on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Missouri for not following federal voter laws.
The lawsuit accuses the state of not automatically updating voter registration after address changes and not providing required registration information to some voters.
The lawsuit lays blame on the Department of Revenue for its role in registration tied to driver’s license services, as well as the secretary of state for not ensuring voter laws are followed.
Department of Revenue spokeswoman Anne Marie Moy said she can’t comment on pending lawsuits, and secretary of state spokeswoman Maura Browning said the office received the lawsuit but hasn’t reviewed it yet.
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The League of Women Voters of Missouri and the Kansas City-area chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an AFL-CIO constituency, filed the lawsuit. Several organizations are representing the groups in court, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.
The lawsuit cited concerns including issues with in-person voter registration services for people at least 65 years old. The plaintiffs claim state workers are required to verify citizenship for licensure. Without that, the lawsuit says, voter registration questions don’t pop up through the Revenue Department’s in-office system. Because people at least 65 years old don’t need to provide documentation, they’re being denied voter registration services called for under federal law, according to the lawsuit.
The groups claimed in the lawsuit that they contacted the Department of Revenue and secretary of state about the potential violations but never heard back.
ACLU of Missouri Legal Director Tony Rothert in a statement said the state “has knowingly and deliberating violated its duty to protect the people’s fundamental right to vote.”
The plaintiffs are asking U.S. Western District Court Judge Brian Wimes to direct the state to follow the law.