Missouri Secretary of State Ashcroft Wastes Another Opportunity to Safeguard Elections, Expand Access

Washington – Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, the state’s highest-ranking elections official, wasted an opportunity before Congress during a hearing yesterday by downplaying his own efforts to suppress voters, and instead misleading the public on election safety by perpetuating long-debunked myths of fraud at the polls. The Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, which includes groups currently suing Ashcroft for his failure to comply with voter registration laws and implementation of the state’s photo ID law, released the following statement.

“Missourians demand that our elections process be safe and accessible,” said Nimrod Chapel, President of the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP. “That’s why we are in court against the State of Missouri: Ashcroft needs to ensure that Missourians can properly exercise their fundamental right to vote in this year’s elections. We were disappointed to see that, instead of using the congressional perch to convey how he would stop obstructing Missourians from the right to vote, Ashcroft mislead members of Congress.

“Much like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who was recently sentenced to learning about civics and the courts, Ashcroft seems intent on inflating debunked wild-eyed conspiracy theories about problems that do not exist systematically,” said Patricia A. Jones, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute’s Greater Kansas City Chapter, and Keith Robinson, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute’s St. Louis Chapter. “Instead of lying to Congress, Ashcroft should do his job, get right with the law, and remove barriers to the ballot so that Missourians.”

The League of Women Voters of Missouri and the St. Louis and Greater Kansas City Chapters of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) are seeking immediate relief to protect Missouri voters from being disenfranchised in the 2018 elections as a result of the state’s ongoing violation of federal voting rights law. More information about the ongoing lawsuit is available here: http://nationalrighttovote.org/press/voting-rights-watchdogs-ask-court-to-protect-missouri-voters-before-elections/. This lawsuit was brought by Advancement Project’s national office, the ACLU, and Dēmos.

The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP and League of Women Voters are also in court in a challenge to implementation of the state’s Photo ID law in a case filed by Advancement Project’s National Office and the American Civil Liberties Union. More information on this ongoing lawsuit is available at: https://advancementproject.org/news/groups-challenge-missouri-photo-id-law-in-court/.


Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high-quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.