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Time running out to request ballot by mail in Missouri

Missouri's deadline to request a ballot by mail in the Nov. 3 election is Wednesday.

Posted: Oct 21, 2020 3:42 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2020 3:42 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Missouri's deadline to request a ballot by mail in the Nov. 3 election is Wednesday.

Once registered, a ballot can be cast in person or by mail, according to state election laws. Due to the pandemic, Missourians have additional "early voting" options this year.

Governor Parson signed Senate Bill 631 into law on June 4, expanding voting options for the August primary election and the November general election.

But it's important to note each early voting option, mail-in or absentee, has a different set of requirements.

Jump to the bottom of the article to see the different types of early voting in a chart.

Early voting in Missouri

To vote absentee, you'll need an excuse outlined under Missouri law.

  1. You'll be outside the county on Election day
  2. You're incapacitated or confined "due to illness or physical disability," or you're primarily responsible for taking care of a person who is;
  3. A religious belief or practice;
  4. You work as an election authority or as a member of an election authority, or you'll be working for an election authority at a location other than your polling place;
  5. You're incarcerated, provided you remain eligible to vote;
  6. You're a certified participant in the state's address confidentiality program due to safety concerns.
  7. Special 2020 excuse: If you have contracted COVID-19 or you meet one or more of the at-risk criteria:
    1. You're 65 years old or older;
    2. You live in a long-term care facility;
    3. You have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma;
    4. You have serious heart conditions;
    5. You're immunocompromised;
    6. You have diabetes;
    7. You have chronic kidney disease and you're undergoing dialysis; or
    8. You have liver disease.

If none of these excuses describe your situation but you still wish to vote by mail, you need to request a mail-in ballot by Oct. 21.

Requesting a Ballot:

Voters can request a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot, by going in-person to your local election authority's office or by mailing a request.

Voters have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to request a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot by mail.

To request a ballot by mail, "mail-in" or absentee, you'll need to either print and fill out the online request form on the Missouri Secretary of State's website or put the following information in a letter:

  • Your full name;
  • Your residential address;
  • A mailing address, if it's different than your residential address;
  • Your phone number and/or email address;
  • Your voter registration number, if you know it;
  • If you are voting absentee, your absentee excuse;
  • Your signature.

After you've filled out your letter or form, send it to your local election authority's office. The mailed request must be postmarked by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Absentee voters also have the option of requesting an absentee ballot by fax or by email.

How to vote

Once you've received your ballot in the mail, it's time to vote and get it back to your local clerk's office ASAP.

Missouri requires voters to have all mail-in ballots and some absentee ballots notarized.

You do not need to have your absentee ballot notarized,

  • If you are dropping off your ballot in-person at your local election office.
  • You also do not need your absentee ballot notarized before dropping it in the mail, if you all under the COVID excuse exception or
  • You're incapacitated or confined "due to illness or physical disability," or you're primarily responsible for taking care of a person who is;

If you need a notary, the Secretary of State's office has a running list of notaries in Missouri by county.

You also must sign and seal your ballot envelope. The Missouri Secretary of State's office just recently revealed at least 544 ballots were not counted in the Presidential Preference Primary because they arrived after the deadline or the ballot envelope wasn’t signed., according to reporting by St. Louis Public Radio.

The USPS is encouraging voters to have ballots dropped into the mail by October 27, so it has enough time to make it to your local clerk's office by 7 p.m. on election day.

Voting by Mail Voting Absentee
Who is eligible? All registered Missouri voters can request mail-in ballots from their local election authority All registered Missouri voters, who cannot cast a ballot in person on election day may vote absentee beginning six weeks before an election and up until 5 p.m. on Nov. 2.
Is an excuse required? No, an excuse is not required.

Yes, an excuse is required.

Do I need to get my ballot notarized? Yes, it must be notarized.

Yes, and no, an absentee ballot must be notarized but there are exceptions.

An absentee ballot is not required to be notarized if:

  • You have contracted or are in an at-risk category for contracting or transmitting COVID-19. You are considered at risk if you:
    • are 65 years old or older,
    • live in a long-term care facility licensed under Chapter 198 RSMo,
    • have serious heart conditions,
    • have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma,
    • are immunocompromised,
    • have chronic kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis
    • have liver disease,
    • have diabetes.
  • You are incapacitated or confined due to illness or physical disability, or you are caring for someone who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or physical disability.
How do I request to vote?

Request mail-in ballot in person or by mail.

Fill out the mail-in ballot application form. Must be received by your local election authority no later than Oct. 21.

Request absentee ballot in person or by mail.

Fill out the absentee ballot application form. Must be received by your local election authority no later than Oct. 21.

How do I cast my vote?

Mail-in ballots can only be submitted by mail in the envelope provided to you.

Mail-in ballots must be notarized.

The ballot must be received by your local election authority by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.

The U.S. Postal Service recommends voters mail their ballots by Oct. 27 if you want it to get to your local election authority in time.

Absentee ballots can be submitted by mail or in person.

Absentee ballots must be notarized unless you fall into one of the two exceptions (see above).

The ballot must be received by your local election authority by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.

The U.S. Postal Service recommends voters mail their ballots by Oct. 27 if you want it to get to your local election authority in time.

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