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Civil rights groups sue Missouri to stop voter ID law

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The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the state of Missouri in a bid to prevent its new voter identification from interfering with a local special election next month, saying the measure could disenfranchise voters.

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in the Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City on behalf of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Missouri, seeks a court order blocking the law from remaining in effect during the July 11 special election for an alderman in St. Louis.

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Missouri has failed to provide necessary mandated funding for voter education, free voter IDs and birth certificates and training for poll workers since the new voting law came into effect on June 1, the ACLU said in the lawsuit.

“Voters were promised that this law was not about disenfranchising the most vulnerable in our state,” said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri. “The state’s lack of funding and implementation of this law tells another story.”

Maura Browning, a spokeswoman for Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft, who is named in the lawsuit, declined to comment on Friday.

Ashcroft is on a tour around the state defending the law and explaining it to residents, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said. The law had been misrepresented by the media, Ashcroft said, according to the newspaper.

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The law, a ballot measure approved by voters in November, mandates stricter measures around showing a photo identification to cast a ballot.

Numerous states, mostly Republican-led, have moved to make voting laws more stringent in recent years, saying the measures are necessary to stamp out fraud and voting irregularities at the polls.

Opponents, including many Democrats, say the laws are discriminatory, particularly against minorities.

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(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Tom Brown)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘No comment’: Emails show the VA took no action to spare veterans from a harsh Trump immigration policy

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The VA’s approach differs sharply from the Pentagon’s, which won an exemption for active-duty members of the military.

Top officials of the Department of Veterans Affairs declined to step in to try to exempt veterans and their families from a new immigration rule that would make it far easier to deny green cards to low-income immigrants, according to documents obtained by ProPublica under a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Pilgrims gather for cosmic-like ritual in Bulgaria’s mountains

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Thousands of pilgrims gathered Monday in Bulgaria's Rila mountains to welcome their "spiritual" new year with a cosmic-like dance performed in concentric circles, creating a striking image on the verdant mountain plain.

The white-clad dancers hiked up to Bulgaria's Seven Rila Lakes at an altitude of 2,100 metres (6,900 feet) and performed a special meditative dance known as "paneurhythmy" for more than an hour under the sound of singing and violins.

They are followers of the Universal White Brotherhood -- an esoteric society that combines Christianity and Indian mysticism and was founded by Bulgarian theologian Peter Deunov back in 1897 but banned during communism and still considered a sect by the country's Christian Orthodox Church.

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NBA star Stephen Curry finances college golf team for six years

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Three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors said Monday he will support the creation of Howard University's first top-level golf program for the next six years.

Curry, a six-time NBA All-Star guard and avid golfer, was inspired to make the contribution by Otis Ferguson IV, a senior at the Washington DC university who Curry met during a campus visit earlier this year.

Ferguson had been campaigning to establish a golf team at Howard. He found a backer in Curry, who decided establish men's and women's golf at the historically black college.

Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Curry also persuaded golf equipment manufacturer Callaway to promise equipment and sport apparel giant Under Armour, who are one of his sponsors, to provide uniforms.

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