Civic Engagement Toolkit

Voting

Voting is the right upon which all other rights depend.” — Thomas Paine

In many elections, the percentage of the voting age population that actually votes is embarrassingly low: barely more than 50% in national elections and as low as 10-15% in some local elections. In one election to fill an aldermanic seat in St. Louis City, only eight percent of registered voters showed up, even though the alderman controls a large amount of funds for neighborhood services and represents neighbors on committees ranging from public safety to health, transportation and public utilities.

Register to Vote

If you are not yet registered to vote, it’s important to do so. To register in Missouri, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen and a Missouri resident
  • At least 17-1/2 years of age (18 to vote)
  • Have an acceptable form of identification, such as a state-issued driver’s license or other government-issued form of identification.

You can register to vote at any of these locations:

  • Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Health and Social Services offices
  • Any public library
  • Schools or other tax-supported public agency that has a Deputy Registrar on site.
  • You may also register to vote online.

Illinois is one of 10 states with automatic registration, which allows eligible voters to become registered automatically when they apply for a driver’s license or state identification at the offices of the Illinois Secretary of State.

In general, you will need to complete your voter registration at least 30 days prior to an upcoming election.

Learn more about voting in Missouri.
Learn more about voting in Illinois.

Next up: Contacting Your Representatives

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