Voter Participation Center alerts 95,000 Missourians of Oct.8 deadline
By: Stephen Buechter
The Missouri voter registration deadline for online, mail and in-person registration was Oct. 12. However, a group known as the Voter Participation Center, which is based out of Washington D.C., sent out mailings stating an incorrect voter deadline to some 95,000 Missourians, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.
The mailings sent out by the group list the voter registration deadline as Oct. 8 instead of Oct. 12. The group claims it has sent out new postcards, though it is unsure how large an effect this mistake will have on the election.
Political Science Professor Emily Neal said that the Democratic party is more likely to be affected by misinformation about the voter registration deadline than the Republican party, because those who are more mobile, such as students, commonly lean toward the Democratic party.
“The fact that you’re a student means you’re highly mobile, so the likelihood of you getting mail in a timely manner because, you know, a lot of students will have an apartment that [they] keep when [they are] at the University of Missouri in Columbia so [they] get some of [their] mail there, but then [they] also have a permanent address with [their] parents here in St. Louis City, so where is [the] voter registration notification being sent,” Neal said.
Political Science Professor John Messmer had differing views on the matter of incorrect information about voter registration dates.
“I feel absolutely zero sympathy for someone who has not registered to vote,” Messmer said. “Why didn’t you register before the primaries? Why didn’t you register in time for the local elections? Now, granted, there might be a handful of people who needed to re-register because in between August primaries and this election they moved, but what percentage of the overall population did that?
The reality is, the ones that we’re feeling sorry for, or the ones we want to feel sorry for, are the ones that well, they spent the year fooling around, and then suddenly ‘it’s Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton?
Maybe I need to get up and actually register to vote.’”
It remains uncertain how large an effect this mistake will have on the election or who will be most affected by this mistake.