One of our greatest civic duties as U.S. citizens is voting for our elected officials. However, some procedures must be followed to exercise the right to vote. First, voters must register to vote.
An individual must be a U.S. citizen and at least 17 years and six months of age (turning 18 before Election Day) to register to vote. An individual must be registered to vote in the jurisdiction where they live prior to the election. To register in Missouri, the individual must be a resident of the State of Missouri.
Once an individual is registered to vote in their jurisdiction, there are still qualifications they must meet to be eligible to vote on Election Day. First, the individual cannot be imprisoned, on probation or parole after a felony conviction, and cannot have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor connected to voting. Those declared incapacitated are also not permitted to vote.
Those eligible to vote need to determine where their polling location will be. On Election Day, polling places will open at 6:00 AM and will remain open until 7:00 PM. If you are still in line at 7:00 PM, you have the right to vote.
In the State of Missouri, you will be asked to show a form of acceptable identification and sign the poll book to receive your ballot. Acceptable identification can include one of the following:
- Identification issued by the state of Missouri, an agency of the state, or a local election authority of the state;
- Identification issued by the United States government or agency thereof;
- Identification issued by an institution of higher education, including a university, college, vocational and technical school, located within the state of Missouri; or
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or another government document containing the voter’s name and address.
Those without acceptable identification, but who are registered to vote, may still cast a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are counted as long as you return to the polling place on Election Day with a photo ID or local election authorities determine that your signature on your provisional ballot envelope matches the signature on your voter registration card.
Everyone eligible and registered to vote should do so. It is our constitutional right and our civic responsibility to cast our vote for our elected officials. Voting ensures we have input into who represents us in our local, state, and national offices.