American Democracy Project
The 1998 Higher Education Act requires all postsecondary institutions to make a good faith effort to distribute voter registration information to all students. Because Missouri requires voter registrations to be a certain format and printed on a thicker type of paper than that used by regular printers, voter registrations cannot be completed online, or from a registration form printed from the Internet. However, here at Central Missouri, we provide several voter registration centers where campus community members may acquire voter registration cards and information. Individuals wishing to register to vote, or request an absentee ballot are encouraged to visit one of the five voter information centers on campus. Centers are located in:
- Campus Activities in Elliott Union, Room 217
- Community Engagement in Elliott Union, Room 224
- Human Resources in Administration Building, Room 101
- Information desk at the James C. Kirkpatrick Library
- Office of Student Experience and Engagement in Administration Building, Room 214
Ways That Qualified Citizens May Register to Vote
- in person at the office of their local election authority. Registration in person is accomplished by filling out registration forms with information on identity, residence and qualifications that are signed and sworn to, then witnessed by the election authority or a designee. (§ 115.155, RSMo Supp. 1997)
- by mail. Registration by mail requires submission of an application stating qualifications. A verification or rejection of registration is sent by the election authority to the applicant. (§ 115.155 & 115.159, RSMo Supp. 1997). You can request a mail-in post card at the candidates and voters' information page from the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.
- at the driver's license office or at participating state agencies. This is a form of registration by mail. Fill out an application of qualifications when renewing a driver's license or at participating state agencies
Important Things to Note
- The address you provide on the voter registration card determines where you are registered to vote, and therefore where you vote. In other words, if you want to vote in Johnson County, you must provide a Johnson County address, if you want to vote at "home," then provide your home address. You, however, can only be registered in one place or the other.
- Your registration must be validated before you can actually vote. So if you register by mail, you either need to vote in your assigned voting place on election day or request an absentee ballot in person. You cannot register to vote by mail, and then request an absentee ballot by mail.
Procedure for Mail-in Registration
- Fill out the card
- Send the bottom portion of the voter registration card to the local election authority for the county in which you listed as your residence. An alphabetical list by county of the addresses for election authorities is available online at the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State. Note, Missouri state law requires that an individual be registered to vote 30 days prior to the election in order to be eligible to vote in the election. Retain the top portion for your records.
- You should receive a letter from the clerk's office which indicates that you are officially registered and identifies your polling place. You can check to see if your voter registration was received by calling your local election authority. Each voter registration card has a red serial number that allows it to be tracked. The same number appears on the top portion of the card you kept for your records. You can also check the online database which will tell you whether you are registered, and at what polling place you vote.
- You will need to show some form of identification in order to have your voter registration validated before you can vote. In other words, you cannot mail in a voter registration card and then request an absentee ballot by mail.
Sources for additional information about voter registration, absentee voting, and upcoming elections in Missouri,
- Your county clerk can answer specific questions about voting places and local elections.
- The Office of the Missouri Secretary of State is the state election authority and can provide a variety of information. Address: 600 W. Main and 208 State Capitol, P.O. Box 778, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102, Telephone: 573-751-2301 or 800-669-8683.
- Dr. Shari Bax, Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement, Administration Building, Room 214, UCM.
If you need information about registering to vote in another state, please refer to the Election Assistance Comission.