St. Louis Public Library offers voter information services for all city residents


ST. LOUIS – If the first 2020 presidential debate left you with more questions than answers, then where else to turn than your trusty library?

“With the virus, they’ve added some ways you can vote but it’s also added a layer of confusion,” said Lisa Thorp, St. Louis Public Library. “So, we’re doing everything we can to clarify and help any way we can.”

The St. Louis Public Library Central branch in Downtown St. Louis has a display greeting visitors when they walk through the door, handing out tiny zines that help answer questions.

The public library, one of many in the city offering services, is asking patrons to keep their visits to 30 minutes or less and to wear a mask.

But librarians are wanting you to consider your local public library as the best tool in your voting utility belt.

“We’ll register you to vote and help you see if you are registered to vote because you don’t want to register twice; that will get you in trouble,” Thorp said.

Voter registration for the November 3 election is available at all open SLPL locations through October 7.

Library staff are trained and ready to assist you.

In-person absentee voting will be available October 12 through November 2 at the Buder, Central, Julia Davis, and Schlafly branches.

Absentee voting on touch-screen machines will be available for qualifying voters.

“In-person absentee voting services here and at Central and three other library locations. Similarly, we’re going to provide notary services because the mail-in and absentee—with some exceptions—require a notary if you’re sending them in,” Thorp said.

Even though St. Louis County libraries are still curbside only, St. Louis City Public Libraries can still answer questions for those who live outside city limits.

“We want to hand them to anyone that wants them,” Thorp said. “We’re a little hipper. We’re not your grandmother’s library but we still are your grandmother’s library. We’re everybody’s library.”

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