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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

About 1 in 3 Missourians Isn't Registered to Vote

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023   

Today is National Voter Registration Day, and Missourians have many locations where they can register to vote - from community colleges and universities, to public libraries and even online. Missouri's population has topped six million, but as of 2022, the Secretary of State's office reported just 4.3 million had registered to vote.

Paula Bowman, co-president of the League of Women Voters, said part of her group's mission is to engage voters in democracy, and it starts by helping people register.

"Well, [you] can't participate in your democracy in terms of elections unless you vote," she explained. "We want to help people avoid that hassle and get registered to vote as soon as possible when they are eligible."

U.S. Census data from 2020, show as many as one in four eligible Americans had not registered to vote. Every year, millions find themselves unable to cast a ballot because they miss a registration deadline, do not update their registration when they move, or are not sure how to register. The Secretary of State's office has a list of deadlines and more information, at 'SOS.mo.gov.'

Bowman suggested a person's civic engagement increases after they register and said the fact that they have registered to vote is a valuable matter of public record.

"Believe it or not, they start getting all kinds of campaign information," she said. "People may contact them to be a poll worker or an election worker. I will say that not all of that is welcome, but it does make them recipients, which is important."

National Voter Registration Day is marked every September, when volunteers and organizations across the country hit the streets in a single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts. Missouri's deadline to be registered to vote is 28 days before any given election.

Disclosure: League of Women Voters contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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