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Jackson County officials, KC woman work to ramp up voter registration ahead of Missouri's primary deadline

Posted: 5:16 PM, Jul 08, 2024
Updated: 2024-07-09 08:21:44-04
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Voter registration for Missouri's primary election ends Wednesday, July 10.

In an effort to ensure preparation and the election run smoothly, the Kansa City Board of Election Commissioners hired extra seasonal workers.

KCEB said voter turnout in the region is always a struggle, especially during primaries. The board's goal is to register 60% of eligible voters in Jackson County this August.

“It’s imperative that you register to vote before Wednesday, July the 10th. You can do that at any DMV, library, you can come here — if you come here, it’s easy 'cause we’re gonna take it from you and input it immediately,” said KCEB's Democratic Director Lauri Ealom.

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To take away barriers like transportation and language, many of the 78 polling locations are along bus routes. Also, Jackson County, by law, allows voters to bring one personal translator.

Ealom encourages the public to vote in all elections because local races have the potential to determine everyday lives.

“The president affects policy to a certain extent, but everything we do here in Missouri is affected by the races that are about to happen,” Ealom said. “People come out for things that are important to them. The key is we have to figure out how to reach the young people.”

Kansas Citian Gale Burrus has been doing her part for the last five years.

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She regularly signs up to be a registration solicitor, which means she can help her neighbors register without them having to travel.

“I’ve set up several dates to sign up people in my community and surrounding communities,” Burrus said. “I’m hoping that people see the importance of voting and that they come out.”

Gale said she remembers a time when the privilege to vote did not exist. She was in high school when her classmates were drafted for the Vietnam War, and at the time, the legal voting age was 21.

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“It’s a responsibility also because you are selecting the people that represent us and make the decision on the laws that affect us, etc.,” she said. “They may be doing things they think their constituents want them to do, but it may not be.”

Early voting begins July 23. KCEB will also be open for voting on Aug. 3, the Saturday before Election Day, from 8 a.m. until noon.

Jackson County has centralized voting, which means voters can go to any polling place as long as they use an electronic ballot marking device. The device is suitable for the deaf and blind.

For information on what to bring on Election Day and a list of polling places and times, head to KCEB’s website.