Resource: Missouri State Conference of the NAACP v. State of Missouri

By: The Brennan Center for Justice

The Missouri NAACP, the League of Women Voters of Missouri, and three individual voters sued the State of Missouri, Secretary of State John Ashcroft, and others, challenging a state law that restricts absentee voting to voters who provide one of six enumerated reasons, including “incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability.” The complaint alleges violations of the right to vote and of equal protection under the Missouri Constitution, and seeks a declaration that the existing Missouri law must be interpreted to encompass Missourians who fear contracting or spreading Covid-19. The lower court dismissed the case on defendants’ motion on May 15, 2020, and the plaintiffs appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.