Local election authorities have begun mailing out ballots to Missourians who have requested to vote absentee by mail in the General Election. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is traveling around Missouri this week to share what the different voting options are for November.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (file photo courtesy of the Secretary of State’s office)

“The election authorities did a great job of printing all those ballots out in a very short time, having them checked by the candidates and then having them ready to send out,” he says.

Ashcroft tells Missourinet voters must return their absentee ballot in-person or by mail to their local election authority by 7 p.m. on November 3.

Some election authorities might see increased foot traffic. Missouri voters can now also cast an absentee ballot in-person until November 2 at 5 p.m.

“Election authorities have been preparing how to do in-person voting differently this year via in-person on Election Day or in-person absentee voting not on Election Day since our Presidential Preference Primary,” says Ashcroft. “We’ve learned from that election. We’ve learned from our general municipal election that came after that. We learned from our August primary.”

The deadline to register to vote is October 7.

Ashcroft says the deadline to request an absentee or mail-in ballot is October 21, but he strongly encourages Missourians not to wait until the last minute to ask for one. He expects mail delays that could cause some ballots to not get counted.

“Since June, we’ve been asking voters, if they are going to mail back a ballot – either absentee or mail-in – to leave at least two weeks,” says Ashcroft. “We want it to be easy to vote and we want your vote to count. I don’t want people to treat this like a term paper they may have done in high school where they waited until the last minute,” he says. “I want the people of the state to know that it’s easy to vote, they have their options. But I want them to do it quickly so that we make sure that their vote counts and it’s part of the final outcome.”

Voters must have their absentee ballot notarized if:
•Absent from your county on Election Day
•You are an election worker
•Your religious beliefs prevent you from voting on Election Day
•You are in jail but still eligible to vote
•You participate in Missouri’s address confidentiality program

Voters do not need a notarized absentee ballot if:
•You are either incapacitated or confined “due to illness or physical disability” or you are the primary caregiver of someone who is
•Have COVID-19 or are at-risk of getting the virus due to:
•Age 65 or older
•Live in a long term care center
•Have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
•Have a serious heart condition
•Have diabetes
•Have chronic kidney disease and undergoing dialysis
•Have liver disease

For those using this year’s mail-in voting option, your ballot must be notarized and returned by U.S. Mail only. Local election authorities must receive your ballot by 7 p.m. on November 3.

Ashcroft has secured 25,000 face masks to be delivered to local election authorities for the November 3 General Election. Patriot Medical Devices, located in southeast Missouri’s Cape Girardeau, is supplying the masks. The Secretary of State has also requested 1,050 gallons and 5,600 (8-oz.) bottles of hand sanitizer from St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch. The brewing company is making and donating more than eight million ounces of sanitizer to U.S. polling locations.

“I believe that this November election will be the safest November election we’ve ever had in Missouri because we’ve always had some respiratory illnesses but we’ve never been anywhere near the approach we’ve taken this year to protect people,” says Ashcroft.

Polls will be open statewide from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.

You can review the requirements here.

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