Voter Registration in Missouri
Missouri requires citizens to register to vote in order for them to participate in any elections held within the Voter registration is handled by the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State (SoS) at the local election authority offices which are alternately referred to as the county clerk or the board of elections offices. Missouri tracks the registration of voters to ensure integrity in its elections so that only those eligible to vote may do so. Legal United States citizens who legally reside in Missouri are the only individuals permitted to cast ballots.
Missouri voter registration has other requirements in addition to citizenship and residency parameters. The state offers fewer methods to register to vote as well as enforcing laws that require voters to show their identification at their polling stations in order to obtain a ballot before voting. Additionally, Missouri residents may register through the Department of Revenue (DOR) when applying for a Missouri driver’s license. Continue reading the article below to find out more about registration in Missouri.
Who Can Register to Vote in Missouri?
Missouri voter registration demands that anyone seeking to take part in an election by casting a ballot must meet certain requirements before being allowed to do so. The criteria for voting in an election include the following:
- Citizenship – Anyone casting a ballot in Missouri must be a legal United States citizen.
- Age – All voters must be 17.5 years of age in order to register and must reach 18 years of age in order to vote on election day.
- Residency – To register to vote individuals must be legal residents of the state of Missouri.
- Criminal record – Voters in Missouri may not cast a ballot in any election if they have been convicted of a felony relating to elections or voting.
- They may also not be on parole or probation because of a felony conviction.
Missouri requires that all people seeking to cast a ballot show proof of their identity by having photo ID to present to polling officials at their polling station.
Missouri Voter Registration Deadline
The deadline for voter registration in Missouri is the fourth Wednesday before the next election. Once this day passes you must wait until the following election to re-register and become eligible to cast a ballot. You may verify whether or not you have registered properly and are therefore eligible to vote in the next election by using the Missouri Secretary of State web page.
How to Register to Vote in Missouri
You can register to vote in Missouri in person or by submitting your application by the United States Postal Service. To do so in person simply complete a Missouri application for voter registration and then deliver it to your local county clerk’s office. Your county clerk should process your application and inform you of confirmation of your registration within seven days. You may also register to vote in person at your local DOR office when renewing or applying for a Missouri driver’s license.
Missouri has voter ID laws, so when you show up to your polling place to cast your ballot you will be asked to verify your identity. You may do so using forms of ID such as a passport or state driver’s license or ID card. You may also provide proof of identification with a copy of a utility bill, pay stub, or bank statement.
Early Voting in Missouri
Missouri does not permit early voting without an excuse.
Missouri Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-Of-State Residents
You may ask yourself how to register to vote if you live outside of Missouri and still wish to vote in the state’s elections. If you are either a member of the United States Armed Forces, or are a Missourian who lives overseas and you wish to participate in your home state’s elections you may register to vote through the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). Voter registration through FVAP enables you to request absentee ballots, which affords you the opportunity to participate in all federal elections held throughout the year in Missouri. All you need to do is complete the Federal Voting Assistance Program using a Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) which you must then submit to your local elections office. You must resubmit this application for every year you remain overseas or out of state.
Missouri Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
Missouri residents who are eligible to register to vote, but are unable to cast a ballot at a polling station may apply for an absentee ballot. In order to qualify for an absentee ballot in Missouri, voters must provide one of the following reasons for being absent on election day:
- Absence from the jurisdiction in which the election takes place
- Inability to vote due to injury, illness, or physical disability including the responsibility for taking care of someone who is incapacitated due to injury or illness
- Religious observations
- Employment as an election official
- Incarceration, as long as voting rights are intact
- Certified participation in the address confidentiality program
How to Change Your Voter Registration in Missouri
You must change voter registration address information if you change your permanent home address. If you move within the same county, you may simply update your new information on or before election day at your new polling station. However, if you have moved into a different county, you must submit a new voter registration application to your election authority.