AP NEWS

The Latest: Election officials downplay registration changes

November 21, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit alleging Missouri violated federal voter laws (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

The Missouri Secretary of State’s Office is downplaying changes to the voter registration process called for in a new legal settlement.

Voter advocacy groups on Thursday settled a lawsuit in which they accused the state of violating federal voter laws for not automatically updating voter information after they change addresses.

As part of the settlement, the Revenue Department is updating its website to automatically redirect users changing their address to the Secretary of State’s site to do the same with their voter registration.

Secretary of State spokeswoman Maura Browning says she’s not sure that voters will notice any difference.

Browning also pushed back against allegations that the Secretary of State’s Office didn’t do enough to oversee the Revenue Department’s compliance with federal voting laws.

Browning says the office doesn’t have the authority to force the Revenue Department to make changes without a court order.

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10:15 a.m.

Voting rights advocates are settling a lawsuit against Missouri for allegedly violating federal voter laws.

Groups including the League of Women Voters of Missouri settled the lawsuit with Missouri Thursday.

The groups say the Department of Revenue violated federal voter laws by not automatically updating voter information after they change addresses.

The settlement agreement requires the agency to update its change-of-address website. Under the agreement, residents will be redirected to the secretary of state’s voter-registration site when they change their address through the Revenue Department.

The changes are set to come as Missouri prepares for the 2020 presidential election and a race for the governor’s seat.

Associated Press requests for comment to the Secretary of State’s Office and the Revenue Department were not immediately returned Thursday.