A Tale of Two States: Challenges to Voter ID Ballot Measures in Missouri and Minnesota


This Note will look at the issues surrounding voter ID through the lens of the proposed amendments in Missouri and Minnesota. Both states offer important lessons to opponents of voter ID. Ballot summaries are crucial in a direct election, as they provide the only information voters will generally see for a measure. This Note will examine the ballot language challenges in Missouri and Minnesota and suggest that this model be followed elsewhere, as more states introduce both state constitutional amendments and initiative measures to override gubernatorial vetoes of voter ID legislation.

This Note discusses the history of voter ID laws nationwide, before focusing on the proposed laws in Missouri and Minnesota and the lawsuits brought to challenge them. Then, this Note looks at voter ID trends nationwide and the effects of voter ID, specifically the effects of strict photo ID requirements, on both the state and the voter. Next, this Note examines the importance of the ballot language challenge and proposes opponents of voter ID consider ballot language challenges as a way to combat the enactment of new strict voter ID laws.


Voter Identification laws, Voter ID, Missouri and Voter ID laws, Minnesota and Voter ID laws, photo ID requirement, Help America Vote Act (HAVA), Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, Weinschenk v. State, Aziz v. Mayer, League of Women Voters Minnesota v. Ritchie



Veronica Harwin (Washington University School of Law)



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