Election Chief Asked for ID at Voting Booth After Helping Secure Law Saying ID Not Necessary

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A zany and troubling story out of Missouri. First, a quick run-down on the issue of voter identification: Democrats in charge of elections usually oppose forcing individuals to show photo ID at the polls because the Democratic base is more likely than the Republican not to have a driver’s license, state ID card, or anything similar. Republicans, for the same reason, favor mandatory voter ID.

Missouri’s Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a Democrat, thought she had this settled after a state Supreme Court ruling struck down a law that mandated voter ID. Then she went to the polls.

Carnahan was asked three times by a poll worker to show photo ID when she went to cast an absentee ballot Friday. From the AP: “Carnahan said that she tried to explain a photo ID was not necessary, but that the election worker replied that she was instructed to ask for one anyway. Carnahan said she eventually was allowed to vote without displaying a photo identification.”

Said Carnahan: “I’m guessing this may be happening in other parts of the state.” And other parts of the country, no doubt.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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