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American Democracy Project informs students about voting

Illustration by Britain Bray/Illustrator

A student-lead team on the American Democracy Project has been touring classrooms this month informing students about the importance of voting.

The upcoming General Elections will be Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Cole Fine, American Democracy Project student-coordinator and junior political science major, said he hired a team of presenters for the month to tell students how to register, how to request an absentee ballot, how to vote out of state and more. He said you can register to vote through the ADP itself.

“It doesn’t matter what political party or what beliefs they have, we’re gonna help them get registered to vote,” he said.

Fine said because of the presentations, they have received many voter registration requests from students.

“I would say I’ve sent voter registrations to almost every county in the state already,” he said.

Fine said it’s good for students to exercise their right to vote in order to get a say in the issues.

“It’s important because this is what shapes your life. The budget cuts that happened to the university…we voted for the governor, we voted for congress…If you want to do something, the way to do it is to get registered to vote, and vote,” Fine said. “At the end of the day, at least you have your voice in what happened and it really influences your day-to-day life.”

Fine said presenters tell the class voting in local politics is important and they give information on how to register for Johnson County ballots.

“As important as the president and the senate and all these national elections are, the local elections really affect your day to day life.” Fine said. “You probably blame a lot of stuff on the president that is happening in your own neighborhood by local politicians.”

Kyra Garner, junior behavior analysis major, is one of the team members that presents for the ADP. Garner said she tells students how essential it is for students to get involved in elections.

“It gives them a right to speak their mind and give them a voice in stuff that is going on,” she said. “Especially it’s important when it comes to funding for higher education…a lot of stuff on the ballot pertains to college students and it will affect them in the future. I think some aren’t as aware of how important it is.”

For more information, go to To register to vote in Missouri, go to To request an absentee ballot, go to and download the Request for Missouri Absentee Ballot PDF.

About a week after registering to vote, you will receive a letter from the clerk’s office indicating that you are registered and will identify the polling place.

To be eligible to vote in the upcoming November General Election, voters must register by Wednesday, Oct. 10. If submitting registration by mail, completed registration forms must be postmarked by Wednesday, Oct. 10.

To check to see if your voter registration was received, call your local election authority. Their contacts are available at

To search the database for your registration, go to

For more information, contact Shari Bax, vice provost of student experience and engagement at

Editor’s Note: This version of the story has been updated to include the date of the General Elections, the voter registration deadline and information about voting absentee.

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