Missouri’s presidential primary is Tuesday, March 10–here’s everything you need to know

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Photo illustration by Emma Caplinger

Signs proclaiming “VOTE!” are illustrated against a blue background, a call to action heading towards the Missouri primary election Tuesday, March 10.

The general election in November is quickly approaching as we make our way through primary season. This Tuesday, March 10, Missouri will have its primary, deciding which candidate will receive the state’s delegates. 

More than ever, politicians are focusing on gaining favor with young people–whether that’s through former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s memes or policies that address issues like climate change or gun violence in schools. However, youth voters often turn out in incredibly low numbers: in the 2016 Missouri primary, only 27% of 18-29 year olds voted. Voting is our civic duty, and every election (even primaries) are important. Here is the information you need to use your voice this Tuesday. 

What you need to know 

The deadline to register to vote in the Missouri primaries was Feb. 12, so if you are not yet registered, you will unfortunately not be able to vote in the primaries. Check whether you are registered before you vote, and register to vote if you are not already.

In order to vote, you will go to your polling place. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., so, whether you go before school or after school, there is no excuse not to vote. There may be lines, so if you are in line after 7 p.m., you still have the right to cast your vote.

Bring a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license, in order to vote.

What’s on the ballot 

Nikolas Liepins
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) holds a rally hours before Super Tuesday at the Rivercentre in St. Paul, MN, on March 2, 2020.

Currently, following Super Tuesday, the two frontrunners in the Democractic Party are Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden; however, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is also still in the race with just two delegates, the only other Democratic candidate who has not yet dropped out. These three candidates will be on the ballot, along with all other Democratic candidates, even if they dropped out of the race.

Missouri conducts an open primary, so no matter which party you are, you can vote for any candidate. At the polls, once your identity is verified, you will be asked which ballot you want: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green or Constitution. Although you have this choice, the most competition exists between the Democractic candidates, especially since there is almost no doubt that incumbent President Donald Trump will become the Republican nominee. 

Why it’s important to vote 

Carter Marks, Royals Media
Democratic Presidential Candidate, Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a rally in Norfolk, Virginia at Booker T. Washington High School.

Here’s the thing: voting is the easiest way to use your voice in this country. It’s also the most important. How will the government know what we want if we don’t ask for it? To participate in our government, you don’t have to be a worldwide activist, like Greta Thunberg, or attend protests every weekend (although those are great)–all you have to do is vote. And if you have a car, why not bring your friends, family or even acquaintances to vote too? 

Let’s turn those dismal youth voter turnout numbers into something to be proud of. Think about a world where you can say our generation elected our president–that can happen. All you have to do is vote.