Associated Press/KMOX

ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOX) – A spokeswoman for Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft says voters who need free identification cards required by a new state law can get them beginning Thursday.

A constitutional amendment approved by voters last November requires photo IDs for voting, with some exceptions. Voters without proper identification can cast provisional ballots.

“Voter ID measures by enlarge are efforts to disenfranchise voters and we’re very concerned about how this law, and others like it throughout the country, affect minority voters,” Sara Baker of the ACLU of Missouri says.

KMOX asked if there is a better way to combat voter fraud.

“The better way is to make sure that the ballot box is accessible,” Baker says. “That’s the cornerstone of our democracy.”

St. Louis residents will vote July 11 to fill St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s seat on the Board of Aldermen. Special elections are scheduled in August for vacant legislative seats.

Ashcroft says they just want every eligible voter in Missouri to be able to cast a ballot. He adds the more participation in elections there are along with making sure the government does what’s best – the better off everyone will be.

Everyone who wants an ID may not get one by the July election according to Ashcroft. Spokeswoman Maura Browning said Thursday that the state can at least start the process for everyone who requests an ID, but in rare cases the paperwork may take until after the elections.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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