A recent federal court decision regarding Missouri voter registration has made headlines and may be creating unnecessary concerns for Scotland County voters.
A federal judge found that the Missouri Department of Revenue violated the National Voter Registration Act, commonly called the “Motor Voter” law, by not providing all Missourians who changed their mailing address on driver or non-driver licenses an opportunity to also change their voter registration.
According to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, around August 1st, 2017, the department of revenue revised its change of address process, effectively eliminating the step through which customers could update their address with the secretary of state’s office or local election authority.
To assist the department in complying with the judge’s order, the secretary of state’s office mailed 22,404 notices, which included a voter registration application, to Missourians who changed their mailing address on driver and non-driver licenses with the Department of Revenue between August 1, 2017, and September 26, 2018.
If individuals used the department’s driver or non-driver license change of address procedure online or on Form 4160, they will receive a notification with instructions to check their voter registration information or register to vote.
“We are getting swamped with phone calls from voters who are already correctly registered and are needlessly worrying,” said Scotland County Clerk Batina Dodge.
She stated the notices were a courtesy to anyone who may have changed their address with DOR and expected it to automatically update voter registration info. It doesn’t mean that the recipient’s voter registration addressing is incorrect.
Dodge noted the majority of residents in Scotland County had address changes last year as part of the transition to the new 911 addressing system, meaning they likely received a letter from the DOR. However the county clerk’s office made a concerted effort at the time of the transition to the new 911 addressing system to get all voter registration addresses changed as well. The county also performed a voter registration canvas in February to try to catch any other addressing problems.