JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Two groups are suing the state of Missouri, trying to block part of a new voter law from going into effect this Sunday.
One part of the law the League of Women Voters of Missouri and the Missouri NAACP have issue with prohibits paying people for voter registration activities.
“It makes it a crime to compensate individuals for voter registration activities,” Danielle Lang, senior director of voting rights for the Campaign Legal Center, told FOX4 Tuesday.
“It will now be their rule from Aug. 28 on that those paid staff members cannot participate in their voter registration events because if they did so, they could be committing a crime.”
Lang is one of the lead council members representing the League of Women Voters of Missouri and the Missouri NAACP, the two groups who filed suit.
Another part of the lawsuit both groups have a problem with is a mandate that anyone who assists with more than 10 voter registration applicants must register with the state and be a registered voter themselves.
“Our biggest message to the Secretary of State is that he should do everything possible to soften these laws,” Lang said. “If he can issue guidance that would make the scope of these laws more clear, that would certainly be helpful.”
Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said his office can give residents the documentation they need to vote for free.
“It’s ridiculous to say that somehow this law would be problematic for voters,” Ashcroft said in an interview with FOX4 Tuesday. “It’s exactly the sort of thing we need. This law increases access. It increases security, and it increases the credibility of the elections for Missourians. Those are the three things you need to do.”
There is no word when a judge in Cole County will hear the case.