Tips for Voters

As a democracy, voting gives us the most power to control who holds office in our government. While it isn’t guaranteed that casting your vote will ensure the people you want are in office, it is one of the only ways to make your voice heard. Despite this truth, only a small number of the voting population actually votes. According to a 2012 Pew Research poll, only 53% of the U.S. voting age population actually registers to vote. The numbers are even lower for millennial voters. In 2012, the voter turnout for voters age 18 to 24 was at 41%.

It’s not clear why there are such low numbers in this specific age bracket, but one can guess that one of the reasons is that young voters, though informed about societal an political issues, are not so much when it comes to voting knowledge. I include myself along this group – even though I’m 20, I still haven’t voted but I plan on doing so this year. Since this whole process can be very confusing, I’m going to help you guys out.

You must be registered to vote to be able to cast a ballot in the United States. If you are a permanent resident of Missouri simply go to the nearest Department of Motor Vehicles office or go to to fill out an online application. See? That was simple.

The General Election is the big one that everyone is paying attention, yet there are several lesser known elections that arguably have just as much influence. I’ve included these smaller elections, the deadline for registering to be able to vote for them, and the date that the election takes place.

Presidential Preference Primary
Description: Voters vote for who they want their state’s delegates to vote for at the national convention or caucus.
Last Day to Register: Feb. 17, 2016
Election Date: March 15, 2016


General Municipal Election Day
Description: City election
Last Day to Register: March 9, 2016
Election Date: April 5, 2016

Primary Election
Description: Voters decide who their political party’s candidate will be. This will be the candidate who runs against the other party for President.
Last Day to Register: July 6, 2016
Election Date: Aug. 2, 2016

General Election
Description: This is the big one that decides it all – which party candidate will be the next President of The United States?
Last Day to Register: Oct. 12, 2016
Election Date: Nov. 6, 2016

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