Our Opinion: Voter registration deadline nears

News Tribune editorial

Don’t relegate yourself to the sidelines for the Nov. 6 election.

The registration deadline — 5 p.m. Wednesday — looms for eligible voters.

The deadline is important to Missourians who are registering for the first time and for people who have moved to a new voting jurisdiction since the last election.

Voters must be at least 18 years old and a resident of both the United States and Missouri.

County clerks, who serve as local election authorities, generally agree registration takes between two and five minutes when done at a clerk’s office or another designated facility.

The Cole County clerk’s office is located in the courthouse annex, 311 E. High St.

Personal identification is needed to register; the list of acceptable identification is broad.

The list includes: a copy of a birth certificate; Native American trial document; other proof of U.S. citizenship; valid Missouri driver’s license; ID issued by the federal government, state of Missouri or a local election authority; ID issued by a public or private state institution of higher education; copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter; or a driver’s license or state identification card issued by another state.

Nov. 6 is a presidential election, but the ballot also will include a range of other races and issues.

Offices to be decided in Missouri include: U.S. Senate, Congress, governor and other statewide elected executives, state legislators and county officials.

Issues include: an increase in the tobacco tax; oversight of the St. Louis police force; regulations on health insurance exchanges; and a constitutional amendment to alter the state’s Non-Partisan Court Plan.

The philosophies of the candidates and the ramifications of the issues will guide the future of public policy in Missouri.

Eligible voters who ignore the election or remain uninformed forfeit the opportunity to shape the future.

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