Voter registration deadline approaches

By Gus Bode

Editor’s note: This is the first of a seven-part series with information about how to cast your vote in the Nov. 4 presidential election.

After some precinct judges reported more than half of those who attempted to vote in February’s primary elections were turned away from campus polling places, Jackson County Clerk Larry Reinhardt said he hopes students are registered properly for Election Day.

The deadline to register or change a registered address is six days away. After Oct. 7, aspiring voters can only register for the Nov. 4 presidential election at the county clerk’s office in Murphysboro, Reinhardt said.


Most of the time, registration problems occur when students move without updating their addresses, he said.

A voter’s address determines what polling place he or she must visit to cast a ballot.

“You can’t just show up to a precinct and vote,” Reinhardt said.

The state board of elections also requires voters to update their information if they change their names.

The Oct. 7 deadline does not include a 14-day grace period, which allows voters to register at the county clerk’s office, Reinhardt said. Those who register during the grace period must cast a ballot at the clerk’s office.

Students could avoid the trek to the Murphysboro office by registering with one of the student organizations hosting on-campus voting drives or with the Secretary of State’s office on Old Route 13, Reinhardt said.

Voters registered outside of Jackson County who would like to vote in local elections, such as the race for Carbondale and Murphysboro state representative, need to register again with their local addresses.


Scott McClurg, associate professor of political science, said in February he urged students to register in Jackson County because the local elections affect them more.

McClurg said he wanted to see more teachers inform their students of how to properly register to vote because there has been a history of confusion surrounding the issue. McClurg said Sunday he had not seen any improvement in the matter.

The DAILY EGYPTIAN will run six more stories pertaining to the voting process. They will explain: early voting, provisional ballots, address changes, absentee ballots, where to go for information about the candidates and how to register after Oct. 7.

Barton Lorimor can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 263 or [email protected].