MSSU to host Voter Registration Day

August 31, 2012
Joanna L. Derfelt
anna sandersonJOPLIN, MO (SNS) –  In 2008, six million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register.

In the Joplin area, the problem is especially severe due to displacement caused by last year’s tornado. An estimated 40 percent of Jasper County residents are still registered incorrectly.
On Tuesday, Sept. 25, Missouri Southern State University will try to correct this by taking part in National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide drive to get voters registered. MSSU is the first Missouri university to sign up to host this year’s registration drive.

Volunteers will be on the Oval from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 25 to register voters. Registration forms also will be taken to individual classes on campus to allow students and faculty a chance to sign up.
“Our goal is to get 100 percent of our faculty, staff and students registered,” says Joanna Derfelt, associate professor of political science. “We don’t want anyone to get turned away from voting because they were incorrectly registered. We want people to have the choice to vote.”
The Sociology Club and other social science and legal studies students will spearhead the effort with the assistance of the Missouri Southern Student Senate.

Community members have the opportunity to get involved, as well. On Wednesday, Sept. 5, Derfelt and her volunteers will offer a voter registration training session to teach volunteers how to register others. The session will be held at 12:15 p.m. in Webster Hall, Room 223, on the MSSU campus.

“There have been attempts at voter registration in the past but they have been very loose," said Dr. Richard Miller, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “This is a very valuable endeavor.”

Derfelt says there is no political slant to Voter Registration Day – her volunteers simply want to get voters registered. Those taking part simply want to get voters registered.
For more information, email Derfelt at or go to


Photo: Anna Sanderson, junior political science major from Carl Junction