It's Time to Register Now if You Care About Voting in Missouri's Primary



Several races in Missouri’s August 7 primary election are highly contested– but you can only cast a ballot if you're registered to vote by July 11. In other words: Get on it already!

Missourians can check their registration status and voting location at the Missouri Secretary of State's website. The site is also a good source for those in need of identification that complies with Missouri’s new photo voter ID law (which became effective June 1, 2017).

There are several ways to register to vote. Filling out the voter registration application online (here) is usually the quickest and easiest option. People may also choose to download and mail a PDF form. And St. Louisans may register in person at the city Board of Election Commissioners (300 N. Tucker Boulevard, 314-622-4336) or county Board of Elections office (725 Northwest Plaza Dr., St. Ann; 314-615-1800). Any Department of Motor Vehicle office is also an option. Finally, anyone can put in a request to have an application mailed to them.

Polling places are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day, with election machines and paper ballots available. Registered voters who anticipate being unable to vote in person on August 7 may do so beginning six weeks before the election. Absentee ballots can be requested by the local election authority in person, by mail, or by fax.

Three particularly heated races this election include the U.S. Senate race for the seat held currently by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri). The GOP primary for the right to take on McCaskill has a host of contenders, including Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate runner-up Austin Petersen. The Washington Post has already named Missouri’s the top contested Senate race of 2018.

Also in the primary, two Democrats will face off for the role of St. Louis County executive — incumbent Steve Stenger and Mark Mantovani. In a similar vein, several Democrats are battling it out for the right to take on U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Ballwin), including attorney Cort VanOstran, Army veteran Mark Osmack and political science professor John Messmer.

One major issue in the August 7 election is Proposition A, which seeks to overturn right to work legislation in Missouri. Former Governor Eric Greitens signed "right to work" in February 2017, and Big Labor gathered enough signatures to force that decision to a vote. Now, voters must decide whether to vote “yes,” to preserve the law, or “no,” to repeal it.  Those in favor of the law believe it protects workers from being forced to pay union dues and could attract businesses. Those opposed fear it could diminish workers’ collective bargaining power.
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