ST. LOUIS - On National Voter Registration Day this Tuesday, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones, alongside the Board of Election Commissioners and sponsor Ald. Shane Cohn (3), announced a new plan to further expand ballot access for St. Louis voters. Through an investment of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, the City is upgrading its voting technology, keeping elections secure while giving St. Louisans the opportunity to vote at any precinct across the city - regardless of their registered address or neighborhood.
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“As voting rights and our democracy face unprecedented attacks, I am proud of how the City of St. Louis made it easier for residents to make their voice heard at the polls,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “Government works best when we work together. My administration collaborated with the Board of Aldermen and Board of Election Commissioners to make this much-needed investment to upgrade our technology. It’s a great way to celebrate National Voter Registration Day, and I encourage St. Louisans to take a moment to register to vote or check their current registration through the City’s website.”
Procured with nearly $2 million in ARPA funds, the new technology will make voting more convenient for residents while protecting the integrity of their vote. This investment is the latest move from the Board of Election Commissioners to expand ballot access in St. Louis. The Board opened no-excuse absentee voting locations to give St. Louisans more time and opportunities to cast a ballot. In previous elections the Board also piloted 12 “vote centers,” locations across St. Louis where residents could vote regardless of their precinct. Allowing voters to vote at any precinct in coming elections expands this concept of citywide voting and is an extension of their ongoing work.
“I am proud to have sponsored the amendment spearheading this appropriation,” said Ald. Cohn. “Working in partnership with the Board of Election Commissioners, the Administration, and my colleagues at the Board of Aldermen, we are listening to the voices of our voters. This critical investment in our election infrastructure allows for increased flexibility in elections for our citizens to ensure that every vote counts.”
“This system represents a year’s long effort on behalf of the Board of Election Commissioners to find the right system for city voters, one that gives the voter the ability to vote anywhere regardless of voter’s assigned precinct,” said Board Republican Director Gary Stoff.
The Board is also working to address American with Disabilities Act (ADA) concerns at city precincts and keep voters informed about their new voting options. It has also opened a survey to hear feedback on how the Board can better communicate with residents.
“Now, the goal of the Election Board is to make sure polling places are physically accessible for all voters and to educate St. Louisans on their voting options prior to the August 24, 2024 Primary Election,” said Board Democratic Director Ben Borgmeyer.
St. Louisans can register to vote online, through the mail, or in person at the Board’s offices at 300 N. Tucker. In order to vote in Missouri, residents must be registered with the election authority in the county in which they are a resident. Those who moved to the City from another part of the state must re-register with their new address.
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