Push for voter registration increases leading up to November election

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 5:47 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - With the November election around the corner, there are lots of people trying to register new voters.

Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller said the push for registration is working.

“I anticipate we will be closer to 180,000 voters that are actively registered here in the county," Schoeller said.

Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller has high hopes for voter registration this year, expecting to see nearly 10,000 more voters register before the October 7 deadline. He said the idea is not far fetched.

“Back in 2016 I think on the final day of registration we received almost 8,000 voter registrations on that day alone, so you always see an increase as you get toward the bigger elections," Schoeller said.

Over in Christian County, they too are seeing an upward trend. The county clerk said around 650 people registered to vote between August 2, 2016 and September 14, 2016. This year more than 900 voters registered during that time span.

The NAACP of Springfield and Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri are partnering up to host a handful of voter registration events leading up to the deadline.

”We have a notary that is here, we have three deputy registrars and we have people from the League of Women Voters that will help you understand the difference between absentee voting and mail in voting," said Dee Ogilby, a deputy registrar with the NAACP of Springfield.

They will have a drive-up registration at the University Heights Baptist Church in Springfield every Sunday and Monday until the October 7 deadline.

“Every Sunday and Monday from five to eight and we’ll have a drive-thru voter registration and we’ve been doing voter registrations at places like Crosslines every Tuesday," said Susan Schmalzbauer with Faith Voices.

The organizations said the voter registration turn out typically picks up closer to the cut off date, but what was surprising this year is how many people volunteered to help.

“For the first time ever that I’ve been doing any kind of stuff like this, which has been years, after the death of George Floyd we just got so many phone calls 'How can I help? What can I do?" Ogilby said.

Schoeller said it’s important to get registered before it’s too late.

“Certainly anyone who gets registered that day we will accept,” he said. " Of course if it is in person it has to be 5 p.m. here at the office, and I believe the Secretary of State also requires it by 5 p.m. even in online registration, so that’s an important time to keep in mind if you’re not able to register until then. "

Schoeller said other places to register include online, at the county clerk’s office, at the library and at the DMV.

When filling out the form, he said it is important to check all required boxes to avoid any delays.

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