Here’s what you need to know about Wednesday’s deadline to register to vote in Missouri
Missouri residents who want to vote in the November general election have until Wednesday to submit their application.
Anyone who is at least 17½ years old and a U.S. citizen in addition to a Missouri resident can register, though they must be 18 years old on Election Day to cast a ballot. Individuals can register online, print off an application from the Secretary of State’s website and mail it in, or go to any location providing government services, like a library or motor vehicle registration office, and fill out the application in person.
Regardless of the method used, applications have to be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. The two-week, no-excuse absentee voting period for the Nov. 8 election begins Oct. 25. Voters must show a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot but can cast a provisional ballot if they do not have one.
New limits on registration
A state law that took effect Aug. 28 put new restrictions on groups who register voters.
Anyone who is not employed or paid by a government entity cannot be compensated for registering voters, which means paid staff for organizations like the League of Women Voters or the NAACP can no longer be involved in voter registration efforts. The league’s branch in the St. Louis area also had to change its website and throw out certain voter education fliers, said its president, Angie Dunlap.
The same law also required anyone who solicits more than 10 voter registration applications to register with the state. Dunlap said the league preemptively registered volunteers, but some past volunteers opted out over safety concerns.
“It seems like there have been attacks on people who have been promoting democracy, and they were afraid that well, would this list be public, and then they would have my name and address and somebody might show up at my door,” she said.
The Missouri Voter Protection Coalition, of which the league is a member, has filed suit over the voter registration changes.
“We’ve argued that these restrictions violate the free speech and expression rights of civic engagement groups,” said Denise Lieberman, the coalition’s general counsel.
There is also a separate legal challenge to the voter photo ID requirement. Requests to halt enforcement of those provisions, known as a preliminary injunction, are pending in front of Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetum.
In Illinois, eligible residents can submit a registration application online until Oct. 23. After that, they can register in person at early voting locations in their area up to and including Election Day. They can also register on Nov. 8 at their polling place.
Early voting and registration locations can be found here.
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