The Millennium Student Center will serve as a polling place for county voters on Aug. 2 and Nov. 8 with voting – including in the high-profile race for United States Senate – taking place in one of the third-floor Century Rooms from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days.
“I think it’s good for the local community, people who live near UMSL,” said David Kimball, chair of the Department of Political Science who was one of the people who suggested the Board of Elections consider the university as a polling place. “It may be convenient for our students and our faculty and staff, particularly now that the county has this policy where you can vote at any polling place and you don’t have to go to your assigned polling place. Generally, it might bring more people to campus.”
St. Louis County first started allowing voters to vote at any polling place in 2020, and Kimball, whose research areas include election administration and voting behavior, said about 30% of county voters cast their ballots somewhere other than their closest precinct.
Kimball would not be surprised if that number increases this election cycle because there’s greater awareness of the policy change.
“In 2020, a lot of voters voted absentee because of COVID,” Kimball said. “And the state had sort of emergency rules in place for that. Now, we still have COVID, but I think fewer people are as concerned about it, so we may have more people voting in person this time around. I’ll be curious to see if more voters take advantage of the vote-anywhere policy.”
UMSL will also be one of seven satellite sites for in-person absentee voting in the leadup to both the primary and general elections. In-person absentee voting for the primary will begin on campus starting Thursday in the quiet lounge on the third floor of the MSC. The site will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until July 29.
There will also be extended hours for in-person absentee voting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 23 and July 30 and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 1.
For more information about St. Louis County voting procedures, visit www.stlouiscountymovotes.gov or call 314-615-VOTE.
For those interested in working as a St. Louis County poll worker in either election, sign up at https://www.vote4stlco.com/pollaccess/.