ST. LOUIS — No matter how excited you are about a candidate or issue, you need to be registered to cast a ballot. In Missouri and Illinois, you need to be a citizen, a resident of that state, be 18 years old by Election Day, and not have had your voting privileges restricted.
How you register can vary greatly between the states. In both states, voters can also mail in an application by printing out a pdf form from the respective state's website and mailing it in. In Missouri, you can also register in person with your local election authority or government services office, like a DMV branch.
The deadline to register to vote in Missouri for the Nov. 3 election is Oct 7.
In Illinois, voters can also register online until Oct. 18. Illinois voters must also live in their election precincts at least 30 days prior to Election Day. The registration deadline you may hear most often, though, is Oct. 6, which is the last day to go to a government office and register in person, or mail in a form.
After that, there is a "grace period registration," during which voters can register and vote in person, the same day. One-stop. Early, even on election day. However, that stop might not be at your usual polling place, so check with your election authority on locations. Bring two forms of identification for grace period registration.
Both states offer an online tool to check to see if voters have registered.
Those who have moved or changed their names since the last election will need to update their registration, which can be done on the same form as a new registration. (Voters will need to check a different box.)
Legally, voters do not have to unregister in their prior voting jurisdictions in Missouri or Illinois. However, election authorities recommend alerting them if you leave so they can take your name off the state's voting roll
Links and resources
Know to Vote