The voter ID law was ruled unconstitutional by Cole County Circuit Court Judge Richard Callahan today:
Callahan's ruling bars the photo ID requirement from being enforced. He said the requirement is a particular burden to women and the poor. That's because a separate Missouri law requires those getting or renewing a driver's license to show they are lawfully in the country, generally with a birth certificate or passport.
Those whose name has changed, such as some married women, also must provide documents showing those changes. While the ID to vote would be free, underlying paperwork has a cost, and the judge said that's unacceptable.
Without the added requirements to obtain a license or state ID card, the judge ruled, the law might not be so burdensome.
"While a license to drive may be just that: a license and not a right. The right to vote is also just that: a right and not a license," the judge wrote.
Naturally, Governor Matt Blunt, to whom the law is not an inconvenience at all, decried the judge's ruling:
"This is a constitutionally sound law that will help improve Missourians' confidence in the elections process and help combat those who attempt to manipulate the system," he said in a written statement.