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The News Tribune reports on elections to equip community members with the tools they need to participate in democracy. That includes sharing candidates' positions on important issues and making information about the voting process accessible. For full coverage of local candidates in the November 2020 election, visit newstribune.com/election

With Election Day less than three weeks away, Mid-Missouri county clerks are reminding voters to be prepared before they go to the polls to avoid unnecessary problems.

There are some issues voters can experience at the polls, with the most common in Cole and Osage counties being not having an updated address, Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer and Osage County Clerk Nicci Kammerich said.

Voters who are already registered but recently moved within the county or had a name change can update their voter information through Election Day, Korsmeyer said.

While voters can change their addresses or names on Election Day, Korsmeyer said, his office encouraged voters to update their information before then.

Voters can call their local election authority to verify their voter information is correct, Kammerich said. They can also visit s1.sos.mo.gov/elections/voterlookup/ to check their voter registration status.

If the information is incorrect, Kammerich said, voters can fill out registration cards with their updated information and submit them to their county's election authority. Voters can fill out voter registration forms by visiting sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/register.

Voters can also fill out voter registration forms and bring the forms with them to their polling locations on Election Day, Korsmeyer added.

"We always ask people to get their address updated before the election so they know where they're going (and) they already have their current address," he said. "It would really help those lines move faster and get them through faster."

Sometimes when a voter moves, their polling location changes. Korsmeyer recommended voters who recently moved look up their new polling locations and take their pre-filled address change forms to those locations.

Voters can look up their polling location at voteroutreach.sos.mo.gov/PRD/VoterOutreach/VOSearch.aspx.

Another issue voters may experience at the polls on Election Day is not having acceptable identification. According to the Missouri Secretary of State's Office, these are acceptable forms of identification:

ID issued by Missouri or the U.S. government.

ID issued by a local election authority.

ID from a Missouri university, college, vocational or technical school.

A current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the voter's name and address.

If a voter is registered but does not have an acceptable ID, he or she can vote using a provisional ballot.

There are two ways a voter's provisional ballot would count, according to the SOS's Office. The voter must come back to the polling place on Election Day and show a photo ID, or the voter's signature must match the signature in the voter registry.

It's also important voters check their voter registration status.

If voters have been inactive for several years, they could be labeled as "inactive or deleted," Miller County Clerk Clinton Jenkins said. The Miller County Clerk's Office had several people re-register to vote for the November election, he added.

"I'm sure there are some out there who have been deleted due to inactivity and don't know it yet," Jenkins said.

Unfortunately, the deadline has passed for those individuals to re-register to vote, he added.

Even if voters have all of the correct forms and IDs in hand, Jenkins said, there may be lines at the polls due to anticipated high voter turnout. He encouraged voters to be patient.

"It's a two-sided ballot, and there are amendments on there, so I have been telling everybody to make sure you do your research and know how you're going to vote before you get there," he said.

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