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Missourians must register by Wednesday to vote in November election

Missourians still have time to register to vote in the November election, but they need to hurry. The deadline is this Wednesday.

State residents who are eligible to vote but haven’t registered yet can apply online or print out an application from the Missouri Secretary of State’s website. Mailed applications must be postmarked by Oct. 7. People also an register in person at local election authority offices, public libraries and Department of Motor Vehicles locations.

The deadline approaches during a wave of national and regional campaigns to mobilize voters that has included AARP printing special editions of its magazines for senior citizens and NFL players launching registration drives in their communities.

Election authorities in Missouri say the campaigns have been successful in motivating people to register to vote ahead of the presidential election in November. As of Friday, about 133,000 more Missourians had registered to vote than around that time in 2016, according to data from the Secretary of State’s office.

The largest gains in the St. Louis region have been in St. Charles and Jefferson counties. In Jefferson County, registered voters have increased by more than 10,000 compared to this point about four years ago. Between former President Barack Obama’s last election in 2012 and President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, the county saw an increase of just 388 voters by early October 2016.

“Every time you turn on the TV now it’s talking about going and registering to vote,” said Jefferson County Clerk Ken Waller. “You’re seeing an all-out blitz, not only by the media but by entities that are just wanting to make sure that people get out and exercise the right to vote.”

St. Charles Election Authority Kurt Bahr said he expects around 20,000 more people to register this election than in 2016. As of Friday, the county had registered more than 15,000 more voters than around that time four years ago.

In Republican Eastern Jackson County, registrations are up among both parties but with Republicans outpacing Democrats.

The deadline to apply to vote by absentee or mail-in ballots in Missouri is 5 p.m. Oct. 21. Election authorities are encouraging people to send their ballots no later than Oct. 27 in order to ensure the ballot is received in time.

In swing states, Republicans are outpacing Democrats in voter registrations. In Pennsylvania, new Republican voter registration outpaces Democrats by 10 to 1.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice