In a move to make voting easier in Missouri, Secretary of State Jason Kander rolled out a new online tool in December that will allow eligible Missourians to fill out their voter registration forms online.
No more last-minute dashes to the county elections office during a lunch hour to get registered to vote — unless that's what you want to do. But now you have a choice.
Here's how it works. If you have never registered to vote or if you have changed your address or your name, then go to www.sos.mo.gov/votemissouri and get started.
You will be asked a few questions. After you review the form, a printed version will be sent to the appropriate local election authority. The local authorities will review it and either send you a new voter registration card or call you if there are questions. Within 30 days, you will have a voter registration card.
We tried it, and it took three minutes. The hardest part was using the computer mouse to sign the form.
Maybe you've been meaning to get registered or update your information. What better time than at the beginning of a new year? April elections will bring opportunities to select city council members, school board members and vote on local ballot issues.
Missouri joins 15 other states, including Kansas, in making online voter registration possible.
Who knows? Maybe 2014 will also be the year that Missouri joins the host of states that allow early voting. Initiative petitions are already circulating to put the question to a vote in the new year. If voters approved the measure, election authorities would be required to provide early voting sites up to six weeks before an election.
One look at the voter turnout numbers tell us that changes need to be made to make voting more inclusive.
The new online voter registration is a good start.
Copyright The Joplin Globe. Distributed by the Associated Press.