Press release

Voting Rights Organizations: Eighth Circuit Decision ‘Blatant Exercise of Voter Suppression’

We are disappointed that, in the midst of a global pandemic and at a time when Missouri is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Secretary has worked vigorously to reduce access to the ballot for vulnerable Missouri voters.

Plaintiffs in Organization for Black Struggle v. Ashcroft Decry Suspension of Changes Aimed at Facilitating Mail-In Voting in Missouri

ST. LOUIS, MO—Plaintiffs in Organization for Black Struggle, et al. v. Ashcroft et al., and their counsel, issued the following statement on yesterday’s decision from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals suspending a lower court order that would have expanded methods for mail-in voters in Missouri to return their ballots:

Secretary Ashcroft elected to vigorously fight a decision that made voting by mail-in ballot easier, safer, and more secure in Missouri. Yesterday, the Eighth Circuit sided with Ashcroft and decided to suspend implementation of the lower court’s order. We are disappointed that, in the midst of a global pandemic and at a time when Missouri is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Secretary has worked vigorously to reduce access to the ballot for vulnerable Missouri voters, and that the Eighth Circuit has rubber-stamped this blatant exercise of voter suppression. 

Mail-in ballots must be received by local election authorities before close of polls on Election Day. We encourage all Missouri voters who are voting by mail-in ballot to place your ballot in U.S. mail as soon as possible and contact your local election officials to confirm receipt. If you do not believe there is time for your mail-in ballot to be received by November 3, you may still vote in person.

Plaintiffs in the case, 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 Section, are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, Dēmos, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition.

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