COLUMBIA — Wednesday is the deadline to register to vote in next month’s Missouri Presidential Preference Primary Election.
For Columbians, the easiest way to make sure you’re registered on time is to go to the Boone County Clerk’s office on the second floor of the Boone County Government Center building at 801 Walnut St. People who will be 18 on or before Feb. 5, the date of the primary, are eligible to register.
It’s not too late to register by mail, but registrations must be postmarked by midnight on Wednesday. Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren urges people to check the pickup time on the mailbox before dropping in their postcards. “Even at the post office,” Noren said, “the last pickup time for most boxes is 4:30 p.m.”
Noren said she has no idea at this point how many eligible voters will actually cast a ballot in the upcoming primary because of the “mob mentality” that surrounds most federal elections.
“This is the kind of election you just can’t tell,” Noren said. “If after today (the New Hampshire primary) the national media decides someone has won, that depresses the turnout. If the national media decides that (one or more parties) has a horse race going, that increases turnout. It’s really gonna depend on the public perception of what their vote means.”
Noren said Missouri makes it easy to vote. You can register to vote in Missouri the day you move to the state. If you’re registered to vote in another Missouri county, you can switch your registration to your local address as long as you do it by the deadline, avoiding the need to cast an absentee ballot, Noren said.
Missourians who have been arrested for a felony are eligible to register, unless they are in jail, on probation or on parole.
Boone County voters who will be away on election day can vote now by absentee ballot at the county clerk’s office.
Boone County still needs election workers for the primary election, Noren said.