Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft met with Sedalia residents on Tuesday at the Sedalia Senior Center, where he presented information on Missouri's new voter ID law.

"We wanted to make sure that every registered voter in the state knows, that if they go to the polling place on election day they can vote and the vote will count," said Ashcroft. "We don't want them to be confused about what other people might tell them."

Missouri's new law went into effect on June 1. Under the new law, all registered voters are allowed to cast a ballot by providing a government-issued photo ID.

Voters that do not have a government-issued photo ID are allowed to vote by presenting a voter registration card, ID from a Missouri university, college, vocational or technical school, a utility bill, bank statement, government check or other government documentation that shows the voter's name and address. Voters that present documents other than a government-issued photo ID are also required to provide a signature at their polling place.

A new provision of the law allows registered voters that are unable to provide documented identification the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot, which the voter must sign. That provisional ballot will be counted after the signature is verified by comparison to the signature on file with the voter's registration card.

"We are pushing people to show that government-issued photo ID," said Ashcroft, "their Missouri driver's license, Missouri non-drivers license, passport, or military ID. What we've also added the ability to have provisional ballots at all of our elections to make sure that if you are registered you actually do have the chance to vote. One of the great benefits of the law is for people who don't have that government-issued photo ID, the government is going to provide one for free. Not only the cost of the ID, but those underlying documents you might need to get. We'll sit on hold with other states or other agencies to go ahead and get those documents for you. This should be a real benefit if there are individuals that don't have an ID and we want to be there for them."

A toll-free hotline is available for voters that need help obtaining a free non-driver license, and to provide answers voters may have about the new law. The number is 866-868-3245. ShowIt2Vote.com is an online resource for voters, and those wishing to obtain a free ID.

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