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Voter registration deadlines: Oct. 11 in Illinois; Oct. 12 in Missouri

Attorneys for Bruce Franks, Penny Hubbard, and employees with the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners examine absentee ballot envelopes during a court hearing on Sept. 1, 2016.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio
Absentee ballots were central to a recent court case that has set clear rules about how the process will work this year.

Area voter registration deadlines are fast approaching. Missouri voters must submit a completed application by the end of business on Oct. 12.

Stephanie Fleming, director of communications for Missouri's secretary of state says people can register in person, by mail or online.

"There's no more convenient way than filling out your application online to register to vote," said Fleming. "So we hope everybody will visit govotemissouri.com by Oct. 12 to make sure they're ready for the Nov. 8 general election."

For Illinois voters, the deadline is even sooner, Oct. 11. Voters have the option to submit their application onlineor in person at their local election authority.

But St. Clair County Clerk Thomas Holbrook says Illinois voters still have an opportunity to register even if they miss the cutoff.

“Starting the next day on Oct. 12, you can do what they call grace period registration and voting and at that time you can register and vote at the same time," said Holbrook. "You can’t register and then walk away. You have to register and vote.”

Holbrook says this is to prevent voter fraud. 
The grace period lasts until Nov. 8 and voters must bring two forms of identification.
Voters in both states have already begun casting their absentee ballots.
In Missouri, the local election authority has to receive the request for an absentee ballot by 5 p.m. Nov. 2 in Missouri  while voters in Illinois have until Nov. 3.
Under Missouri law, mailed ballots will only be counted if they are received by the time polls close. In Illinois, ballots have to be postmarked by Election Day and will be counted if they arrive within two weeks of Nov. 8

Both states allow in-person absentee voting up to the day before the election.