Wednesday was the last day for Missouri residents to register for November’s general election.Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said her office has processed about 13,000 new voter registrations so far this year. However, she says in 2008, the office processed nearly 21,000 new voters.”So we’re significantly lower than we were four years ago,” said Noren.Noren expects more registrations to come in from other locations and through the mail, but she believes voter numbers will stay down when her office has final numbers next week.Noren says there has always been a good turnout for presidential elections, however with voting down nearly 40 percent this year, things could be different.”The resources from the national political parties are being allocated to Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida,” said Noren. “We are not one of the swing states, so there’s not as many people involved in the election process as there were four years ago.”Recent polls show Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney ahead of President Obama in Missouri by as many as seven points.Political experts say in addition to Missouri not being a swing state, part of the reason behind the decrease in voter registration could be a surge in new voters four years ago.”So they’re not going to show up as new voter registration this year,” said University of Missouri assistant professor Dr. Ben Warner. “There may just be less people out there to get that would be new.”Warner believes new, young voters will be key in this year’s elections.”That’s a really important demographic,” said Warner. “That group that just turned 18 since 2008. That you need to get excited about voting and you need to convince them that this matters a lot. I don’t think it’s just Missouri. I think nationally, that’s a group that you’re gonna see a dip.”To cast your vote, your address must be up to date with the county clerk’s office. Noren says you can do that up to Election Day.
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