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MO-Sen: Former McCaskill attorney behind group suing state of Missouri over voter ID for elections

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Incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has ties to an attorney behind a group suing her home state over the Voter ID law while she runs for re-election. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Last year, Missouri implemented a new law requiring that in order to vote, citizens must present a government-issued proof of identification. But, the law states, in the instance that a voter does not possess such documentation, they may provide an alternative form of identification in addition to signing a sworn statement confirming they do not have the required government-issued proof of ID.

In 2016, Missouri voters passed the constitutional amendment known as House Bill 1631.

The "Voter ID" law is now being challenged by a group backed by an attorney who served not only as general counsel for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, but who also previously worked for incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who happens to currently be running for re-election.

OK, what's the situation?

National progressive group Priorities USA filed the case on behalf of a 70-year-old Jackson County woman, claiming that Missouri's voter ID law is unconstitutional.

The aforementioned attorney with ties to Clinton and McCaskill is Marc Elias, who serves as part of Priorities USA's legal team. The group also has a political action committee, Priorities USA Action, which has spent over $430,000 on the U.S. Senate race in the state, mostly for attack ads against presumed Republican nominee (and McCaskill challenger) Attorney General Josh Hawley.

But of course, a spokeswoman for the group, Symone Sanders, says that this year's election has nothing to do with their legal action, telling The Kansas City Star: "We have been on the forefront of filing suits like this across the country because we believe there shouldn't be impediments to the ballot box for anyone at any time — whether it's an election year or not."

Uh-huh.

Is there anything more to this?

In spite of skepticism from some (the left), Missouri's Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks (R) says the Voter ID law was passed with good reason: "The goal is the average voter is protected by this law. The danger, the risk we have in elections is people who aren't allowed to vote trying to cast a ballot."

Burks said he could cite examples, too.

"We've seen forged signatures in the past, we've seen instances with duplicated voter registrations," Burks said. "We know that there are people that try to mess with the legal process. I do know there are always people that try to sneak by what the rules are."

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