Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Here’s How Missouri’s New Voting ID Law Will Impact Elections

The state’s new voting law went into effect on Sunday, Aug. 28, which includes a photo ID requirement on election day, changes to who can register voters and how absentee voting will work. Those without ID will need to take extra steps to vote.

(TNS) — On Sunday, Aug. 28, Missouri’s new voter law, including the state’s new photo ID rules, went into effect across the state.

The new law will require voters to use a government-issued photo ID to vote. People who don’t have a photo ID on Election Day will have to vote with a provisional ballot, which takes a few extra steps before it can be counted.

The photo ID provision is just one aspect of the broader new Missouri voting law. Parts of the law include changes to who can register voters, how absentee voting will work, rules around the use of touch screen voting machines and the removal of presidential primaries.

There are currently two lawsuits challenging the new law. The League of Women Voters and the Missouri NAACP filed a suit that argues the new photo ID requirements violate the state’s constitution, and one challenging new restrictions to who can register people to vote.

“We want to make sure that we know you are who you saw you are and that you’re the person that’s supposed to be voting,” Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft told The Star about the new photo ID requirements. “But at the same time, we don’t want to turn anybody away.”

Here’s how the new photo ID rules could affect you at the polls.

What kind of photo ID can you use to vote in Nov. 8 election?

Missouri voters will now need a government-issued photo ID in order to vote in Missouri. This includes:

  • A non-expired Missouri driver’s license or a state ID
  • A non-expired military ID, including a veteran ID card
  • A U.S. passport or another form of photo ID issued by the U.S. government or the state of Missouri that is not expired

Previously, the state’s voter ID law allowed things like school IDs and utility bills to be used at the polls — these will no longer be accepted to vote.

“That’s the biggest change,” Kansas City Election Board Director Shawn Kieffer told The Star. “They can’t bring a bank statement or social security or anything like that, like in the past.”

How many Missourians don’t have a photo ID?

Secretary of State Ashcroft told The Star he doesn’t know the exact number of people in Missouri who don’t have a photo ID that would meet the requirements of the new law.

Various sources referenced a number from a 2017 state report called the No Match Analysis that said there were about 138,000 registered voters who did not have a state ID, and about 140,000 more registered voters with expired state IDs.

Ashcroft said those numbers do not take into account the number of people who might have military IDs or other federal IDs, which are acceptable for voting under the new law.

Ashcroft said his office is committed to helping residents get a photo ID for free if needed. He said the office typically helps around 1,000 to 1,500 people get their ID each year but has the capacity to help more.

“I have the budget to hire people if I need to,” he said. “But we’ve just never even gotten anywhere close to that sort of demand.”

Can I vote if I don’t have a photo ID?

Technically, yes.

People who don’t bring the correct form of identification to the polls in November will be asked to fill out a provisional ballot.

If you end up having to fill out a provisional ballot at the polls, there are two ways to make sure that your vote is still counted: You can come back to the polls with the correct ID before the polls close at 7 p.m., or election officials can compare the signature on your provisional ballot with the signature on your voter registration. If the two signatures match, your vote will be counted.

“If you’re registered, you can vote,” Ashcroft told The Star. “Under the law, you can vote with provisional ballots. I’ve done it myself and I’m not asking people to do something I haven’t done.”

Ashcroft suggests that people who do wind up voting provisionally do their best to return to the polling place with some acceptable form of ID if they have one.

Kansas City Election Board director Shawn Kieffer said there were less than 25 provisional ballots in the last election, but he suspects that the city’s election office will see a couple hundred provisional ballots in the November election.

“These are people that are not familiar with the laws, they’ll show up to the polling place and say ‘No I didn’t bring my voter ID,’” Kieffer said.

To check to see if a provisional ballot was counted, voters should hold onto the poll slip which will be taken off of the provisional ballot before it’s submitted. On that slip, there will be an identification number for the ballot that voters can use to track down their ballot by calling their respective election office.

To understand how different election offices in the Kansas City area count provisional ballots and regular ballots, visit here.

What if I need help getting a photo ID?

State-issued driver’s license and non-driver’s license can run you between $7 and $52, depending on your age and how long the license is valid for. However, you can get a non-driver license for voting purposes from the state for free.

The Missouri Secretary of State office, Department of Revenue and Department of Health and Senior Services offer one free non-driver license to residents who need an ID to vote and don’t already have a driver’s license or a non-driver’s license. The agencies can also cover the cost of obtaining the necessary documents.

Ashcroft said the process to get a free ID from the state can vary, depending on what documents are needed for the application. If all the documents you need are in Missouri, he said his office can track them down in a day or two, but if you need help securing documents from out of state, the process to get your ID might take longer.

Who to reach out to if you need a photo ID from the government in order to vote:

Missouri Secretary of State: Fill out this form at
Missouri Department of Revenue (DMV): 573-526-8683 or visit
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: 573-751-6387

©2022 The Kansas City Star. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Special Projects