How to vote in 2020

2020 is a big year for voting. Find out how to become a registered voter.

Katherine Stobbe

2020 is a big year for voting. Find out how to become a registered voter.

Seniors are not going to want to miss out on voting in 2020. Polls held this year include local events like a school board election and voting on Prop S, as well as nation-wide campaigns like the presidential election. KHS seniors are beginning to turn the legal voting age, 18, and many experts say their vote could matter more than ever this year. According to Pew Research Center, Millennials had almost as many voters in the 2016 presidential election as the Baby Boomer generation, and are projected to surpass them this year. The New York Times says young people’s votes have the potential to make a big difference in upcoming elections. Voting registration closes a few weeks before each poll. Here are the easiest ways to become a registered voter in St. Louis.

1) John Ashcroft, Missouri’s Secretary of State, offers a complete online guide on voting, including an option to register online. This may be a good option for first-time voters or students who are too busy to register in person. The entirely digital application process includes security questions such as name, address and social security number and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Voters are warned to submit only an entirely true application, as making a false statement can lead to imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

2) The same application is available to print and mail to your county’s local election authority. Ashcroft’s website includes a list of these addresses for all Missouri counties. The St. Louis County Board of Elections is at 725 Northwest Plaza Dr. and has its own website with helpful documents. You can also request an application to be mailed to you, which you can then send back once completed. Voter registration forms can also be found at a Department of Motor Vehicles or most state agency offices.

3) The final option is to register in person at your local election authority. This could be helpful to first-time voters because a professional can help walk them through the application process and answer any questions they may have.

Although personal documents like a birth certificate or social security card are not required to register, some form of ID must be present at the polls. Voters must bring a nonexpired, government-issued ID, which may be a Missouri driver’s license or a military ID. You are not required to bring a Real ID. Though a photo ID is encouraged, voters may also bring an ID issued by a university or college, or a document with proof of residency, including a current utility bill, bank statement or paycheck. All registration applications must be submitted before the posted election deadlines. You must be a Missouri resident and 17 ½ years old to register and 18 years old to vote. More helpful information on voting can be found on most government or election websites.