(Jefferson City, Mo.)– Voters can now drop off absentee ballots at their election office and submit them by mail through the postal service, a decision issued today by the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri in Organization for Black Struggle et al v. Ashcroft ruled.
The decision comes in response to a federal lawsuit filed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, Dēmos and the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition. They jointly represent the Organization for Black Struggle, Missouri Faith Voices, the St. Louis and Greater Kansas City Chapters of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and the National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis. The groups filed a lawsuit last month alleging that the Missouri’s absentee and mail voting systems place unlawful restrictions on the right to vote. Among the challenges raised were restrictions on how mail-in voters could return their ballots–solely by U.S. mail–while voters casting absentee ballots were permitted to return their ballots through any mail delivery service or in person.
In response to today’s decision Plaintiffs’ counsel have released the following joint statement:
“Missouri voters can now drop off remote ballots to their election office in person as well as by mail, whether it is an excuse-based absentee ballot or a mail-in ballot. The court recognized Missouri’s complicated rules were confusing and unequal. Today’s ruling ensures the same rules apply to all remote voters who, in the midst of mail delays amid a pandemic, face tight deadlines returning their ballots to ensure they arrive at their local election office before the close of polls on Election Day. ”
Additional information about this case can be found here.