Absentee Voting – An Option to Consider

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3 mins read

Note: This article was updated on May 19, 2020 to provide a useful link courtesy of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition. OneMissouri thanks MOVPC for their generosity. 

Uncomfortable about casting your ballot in-person? Consider absentee voting. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, many Missourians may be unable to make it to the polls due to age or health issues. Or, they simply may not feel safe in being around large groups in confined spaces. 

Senate Bill 631 for Absentee Voting

Before ending this year’s legislative session, lawmakers adopted a bill that would allow for more mail-in absentee voting during this year’s August and November elections. Senate Bill 631 will allow Missourians to cast an absentee ballot if they are 65 or older, live in a nursing home or have certain health conditions that might put them at high risk for COVID-19. 

Residents who don’t qualify under those health-related guidelines can still request an absentee ballot for the August and November elections, according to an article in the Missourinet. The only difference is that Missourians must notarize their form. 

Citing security concerns and an extra burden on local election officials, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft opposes SB 631. However, the final decision rests on the shoulders of Governor Mike Parson, who must sign the bill into law. 

How to Request an Absentee Ballot

Registered voters can request an absentee ballot by filling out a form and mailing it back in to their county clerk’s office. If it’s mailed in, Missouri law requires that absentee ballot requests must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday before Election Day. Likewise, if you want to vote absentee by coming in person to your county clerk’s office, the deadline is 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. 

The Missouri Voter Protection Coalition has published a concise and easy-to-follow guide with all the information voters will need to vote absentee or by mail for the 2020 elections due to COVID-19.

Upcoming Deadline for June Election

Absentee

Are You a Registered Voter? 

Not Yet a Registered Voter? No problem. First, are you are at least 17 ½ years old? Second, are you a US citizen? Third, are you a Missouri resident? Then you can register to vote. The Missouri Secretary of State’s Voter Registration page has all the information you need. 

2020 Missouri Election Calendar

Mark your calendars for these important dates:

Absentee

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OneMissouri focuses on providing evidence-based information on key issues relevant to all Missourians like education, workforce development, healthcare, & more. Website: onemissouri.us

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