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The latest news from every corner of the state, including policy emerging from Missouri's capitol.

Last Chance to Register to Vote in MO August Primary

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In the August primary, Missourians still can use student IDs and current utility bills, bank statements, paychecks or other government checks as identification for voting. (sos.mo.gov)

Today—July 6th, is the deadline for Missouri residents to make sure they are registered to vote if they want to cast a ballot in the August primary.

Eligible voters can register or update their voter registration by filling out an application and submitting it online, by mail or in person. Forms being submitted by mail need to be postmarked by today, the fourth Wednesday before the election.

Marilyn McLeod, president of the League of Women Voters of Missouri, said a bill was signed into law this session tightening the requirements for acceptable voter IDs, but it doesn't go into effect in time for the August election.

"The August election will use the rules that you have a variety of possible IDs to use when you vote," she said. "They could be a driver's license, a state ID, the card that you get from your election authority, student IDs."

However, by the time the November election comes around, there will be more limitations on voter IDs. McLeod added that while any voter could cast a mail-in ballot in 2020 because of the pandemic, that won't be the case this year; only voters who have reasons listed in certain categories of so-called "excuses" can vote by mail.

Since this is the first election cycle since the 2020 census, McLeod said it's also important to check your local election authority to see if your district has changed. Every 10 years, new voting district maps are drawn to reflect changes in the population.

"Your Missouri House District, your Missouri Senate District and your congressional district might have changed," she said, "so you do need to research that to find out where you are."

Turnout often is lower for primary elections than for general elections, but McLeod said the primary is an important step to select the candidates that make it onto the ballot in November. She urged voters to educate themselves about the candidates and issues that matter most to them.

Missouri News Service is a partner with KRCU Public Radio.

Originally from just outside Boston, Lily Bohlke is formerly from 2020Talks, a show tracking politics and elections, that started prior to the 2020 Iowa caucuses at KHOI in Ames. She's also a past intern for the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism.