Attorneys for Bruce Franks, Penny Hubbard, and employees with the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners examine absentee ballot envelopes during a court hearing on Sept. 1, 2016.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Area voter registration deadlines are fast approaching. Missouri voters must submit a completed application by the end of business on Oct. 12.

Stephanie Fleming, director of communications for Missouri's secretary of state says people can register in person, by mail or online.

There is no act more central to a democracy than voting. Electionland is a project that will cover access to the ballot and problems that prevent people from exercising their right to vote during the 2016 election.
Courtesy ProPublica

Editor’s note: St. Louis Public Radio is participating in this national reporting initiative. You can help us monitor the voting process. Whether you are voting absentee, or waiting to go to your polling place on Nov. 8, you may sign up here to let us know about your voting experience.

Election Day is still a month away, but some Americans are already casting ballots. About 20 states and the District of Columbia have early voting programs, several of which have already begun. It’s estimated that about one-third of the country will have voted by the time polls open on Nov. 8.

The Electionland coalition is also beginning its work. We’ve started looking for problems that prevent eligible voters from exercising their right to cast a ballot before the polls close. Using a combination of social media posts, data about web search trends, and call center records from a coalition of election lawyers, we’ll be looking at the process of voting to help make sure that nobody is shut out because of long lines, improper procedures or inadequate resources.

The Mourning Society of St. Louis, which re-enacts 19th century funerals at Bellefountaine Cemetary, was the first group to walk in the Golden Lane parade.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of women celebrated the right to vote Saturday in downtown St. Louis by re-enacting a suffragette protest that took place on Locust Street during the Democratic National Convention of 1916.

The League of Women Voters invited the women to dress in white, wear sashes and carry golden umbrellas just like an estimated three thousand suffragettes did during the original protest, when they waged a “walkless, talkless” protest by lining the street the male delegates had to walk from their hotel to the convention. 

Jason Kander speaks at the Missouri Democratic Party's annual dinner, the Truman Dinner, at Busch Stadium.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

Missouri’s already nationally watched contest for the U.S. Senate is getting swept into the St. Louis region’s latest spat of vote-related woes — including the current court fight over absentee ballots cast in the Aug. 2 primary for a legislative seat whose boundaries are within the city of St. Louis.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has been running a TV ad that seeks to tie those controversies to how his Democratic rival, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, has performed his job. Blunt also has raised general questions about Kander’s performance during his recent campaign stops.

Kander has pushed back.

Voting booths
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Legislation that would have required Missouri voters to show photo identification at the polls has been vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

"(House Bill 1631) is such an affront to Missourians' fundamental right to vote that it requires that our Constitution be amended for its voter suppression provisions to become effective," Nixon said in his veto letter. "Making voting more difficult for qualified voters and disenfranchising certain classes of people is wrong. I will (also) oppose the constitutional amendment in November."

Ashely Tate dances between two of her students in preparation for "Dance to Vote."
Nancy Fowler / St. Louis Public Radio

Dancers are helping people get a leg up on voting this Saturday afternoon in University City.

An outdoor performance in front of Vintage Vinyl is designed to encourage passers-by to register and cast their ballots in the Aug. 2 Missouri primary. Three dance companies will alternate voting-related performances from 2-5 p.m.  Four spoken word artists will also participate.

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

City voters may have noticed something new at their polling place last week. Tuesday marked the first time elections officials used iPads at every precinct to check in voters.

The city launched a pilot program in a third of its precincts in August 2014. Mary Wheeler-Jones, the Democratic director of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners, said they allow the city to eliminate the large binders of paper, which streamlines the check-in process.

Eric Fey, St. Louis County Board of Elections director, demonstrates how to select an audio ballot versus the large-print option on the iVotronic system.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio.

Election officials in St. Louis and St. Louis County are reassuring the public that accommodations are in place so people with disabilities can easily vote in Tuesday's presidential primary.

voting booth for paper ballot
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

St. Louis Public Radio's Curious Louis was recently asked about the Village of Country Life Acres. The 2010 census lists the tiny west St. Louis County village as having 74 residents. Yet, it had 92 registered voters at the end of that year.

Ferguson-Florissant parent Redditt Hudson, attorney Dale Ho, and past school candidate Willis Johnson at a press conference announcing a lawsuit against the Ferguson-Florissant schools on December 18.
Diane Balogh | ACLU of Missouri

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, along with its national voting rights division, has sued the Ferguson-Florissant School District over the way members of the school board are elected. 

"Every community has the right to representation in their government," said Dale Ho, the director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. "Unfortunately for too long, African-Americans in the Ferguson-Florissant school district have been denied that opportunity." 

Emanuele Berry

Under the cover of a large umbrella, Shiron Hagens trudges through a Jennings shopping center parking lot that borders Ferguson. She stops just outside a store. Hagens is not here to shop, but to register voters.

Following the death of Michael Brown many people joined marches and protest. Hagens started registering.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the most potent part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, one of the most successful laws enacted in American history.

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Voters casting ballots before Election Day say convenience and short lines are among their top reasons.

Early voting statewide began in Illinois Monday. It runs through Nov. 3. Some election officials say ballots cast before Election Day could top records from 2008. However, the overall number of registered voters is down.

International Institute of St. Louis / Wayne Crosslin

Some of America’s newest voters in November will be people who were not born in this country but are newly naturalized citizens.  Host Don Marsh talks with guests from the International Institute of St. Louis about the path to citizenship and with former students about the process.

Guests include:

  • Anita Barker, Vice-President and Director of Education at the International Institute of St. Louis
  • Elina Fernandez, naturalized citizen and former student at the International Institute
voxefxtm | Flickr

The St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners held a press conference today to remind voters of important dates and changes in the voting process.

The board is preparing for a special election next week to replace Alderman Gregory Carter, who was killed in a traffic accident Aug. 1. Carter served the 27th ward for 19 years.

The election to find an alderman will take place Oct. 16. Officials couldn’t wait until the Nov. 6 general election because of a rule in the city charter that requires a vote be taken if a seat is vacated over 180 days before the next election.

voxefxtm | Flickr

Updated with comment from Robin Carnahan.

Missourians who are unable to make it to the polls next month can begin voting by absentee ballot today.

Absentee ballots are available to voters who expect to be out of town on Election Day or if illness, disability or religious beliefs prevent them from going to the polls on Nov. 6.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan says the process is quite simple.

(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

A new audit of the St. Louis city Board of Elections Commissioners finds the agency has made progress in reducing the number of duplicate voters on its rolls, but the report released today found other issues at the board.

An attorney who successfully challenged Missouri's photo ID law for voters in 2006 plans a new legal argument if the requirement is revived.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

UPDATE 3:03 p.m. Jan. 11, 2011:

The Associated Press is reporting that the Illinois Senate has voted to abolish the death penalty in that state.

The Chicago Tribune also reports the following:

The ban on executions goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who must sign the legislation for it to become law. During last fall's campaign, Quinn said he supports "capital punishment when applied carefully and fairly," but also backs the 10-year-old moratorium on executions.

The Senate voted 32-25 to approve the ban, with two members voting present.


UPDATE 1:13 p.m. Jan. 11, 2011:

The Illinois Senate is debating the death penalty bill this afternoon on the floor. You can listen or watch the debate live here.

Earlier Story:

Illinois has moved one step closer to a vote on abolishing the death penalty in the state.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee voted this morning to advance a bill to repeal the death penalty, setting up a probable full Senate vote later today.

The bill passed in the House last week in a quick re-vote when the first vote failed the bill, 59-58.

The Chicago Tribune also has more information on the history of the death penalty in the state, via legislation and key cases in their story today.


Did your favorite Missouri candidate lose a close election?

Well, a southern Missouri lawmaker wants to make it harder for close-election losers to get an automatic recount.

Currently, candidates for public office in Missouri can request a recount if they lose by less than 1 percent point of the total vote.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

UPDATE Jan. 6, 2011 6:47 p.m. :   Via the Associated Press, The Illinois House, reversing an earlier tally, has voted 60-54 to repeal the death penalty. The bill now goes to the Illinois Senate.

A decades-long effort to abolish the death penalty in Illinois has fallen one vote shy of House approval.

House members voted 59-58 Thursday on abolition. The bill needed 60 votes for approval.

A Missouri agency that finances low-income housing will redo a vote on ethics policy changes that occurred in a closed session.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday that it raised concerns the closed meeting by a subcommittee of the Missouri Housing Development Commission may have violated the state's open-meetings law.