The 2012 Election Season is a very important time for America. As we head into November and selection of a president, a lot of information can be skewed about voter registration and voting at the polls.
Here's some information Hazelwood Patch has compiled from the Missouri Secretary of State's Election website about common misconceptions related to registering to vote and what to do on election day.
1. Felons Can't Vote in Missouri.
Incorrect. Upon completion of your sentence and probation or parole, you are eligible to vote in elections. Individuals who have been convicted of an election offense, whether a felony or misdemeanor, are not allowed to vote.
2. Any ID will do.
Incorrect. You will need to present one form of valid personal identification as required by state law. Valid forms of ID include:
- ID issued by the Federal Government, state of Missouri, or a local election
- ID issued by a Missouri institution (public or private) of higher education,
including a university, college, vocational and technical school
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter
- Driver’s license or state identification card issued by another state
3. I can vote anywhere.
Incorrect. You can only vote at your assigned polling place or, if there is a problem at your assigned polling place, you may be eligible to vote at the central polling place. Verifying your assigned polling place with your local election authority prior to Election Day will help to eliminate potential complications. Click here to find your polling place ahead of election day.
4. I don't know if I can vote.
In order to register to vote, an individual must be:
- A citizen of the United States;
- A resident of the State of Missouri; or whichever state in which they plan to vote
- 17 years and 6 months of age (must be 18 by Election Day).
5. I get recorded calls to my phone with information about whether or not I should vote.
Always use good judgement. If you get a robocall, take it like you would a telemarketer and instead follow your original plan. If someone calls and says you've already been marked down as voting, if you know you haven't, go to the polls and vote anyway.
6. There is no deadline to register to vote in the November 6 election.
Incorrect. In order to be registered to vote in an election, you need to be registered by 5 p.m. on October 10, or the normal close of business of any public building where registration is allowed, whichever is later, on the fourth Wednesday prior to the election. If registering by mail, your voter registration must be postmarked on the fourth Wednesday prior to the election. If you register after such time, you will be registered to vote in subsequent elections.
7. I moved but I don't need to register to vote again.
Incorrect. If you have moved to a different address within the same county, you are permitted to change your registration address on Election Day at your new polling place or the central polling location.
In order to change your address if you move outside the boundaries of the election jurisdiction in which you were previously registered, you will need to fill out a new voter registration application.
If you moved before the deadline to register for an election, you must complete your new registration prior to the registration deadline in order to be eligible to vote a full ballot in your new jurisdiction.
If you moved after the registration deadline, you will be entitled to vote a limited ballot, containing only federal and statewide candidates and issues once you submit a completed voter registration application in person with the local election authority.
People moving from one election jurisdiction to another prior to the registration deadline who fail to register to vote by the registration deadline will not be able to vote in that particular election.
If you moved to Missouri after the deadline to register for a presidential election, you are entitled to register and vote only a presidential and vice presidential ballot in your new jurisdiction.