Tuesday is election day in Missouri for mayors, city councils, boards of aldermen, school boards, and other local-level offices.
Turnout for municipal elections is usually low compared to state level and national elections, according to Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft.
“Unfortunately, I’m concerned that a lot of people that are able to participate won’t,” he said. “If you actually do participate in the general municipal election, your vote is worth four or five, maybe even six times, as much as it is in a November general election because other people don’t participate.”
But turnout is expected to be higher this time around because numerous cities are also voting on proposals to add or raise local sales taxes on marijuana purchases, which began in February. Regardless of motivation to get to the polls, voters are encouraged to show a valid photo ID.
“It’s going to be your driver’s license, is what most people use,” Ashcroft said. “Sometimes (a) non-expired Missouri non driver’s license. It could also be a military ID, it could be a passport.”
An expired driver’s license is allowed IF it expired after the most recent general election.
Those who don’t have a valid photo ID can fill out a provisional ballot, but in order for it to be counted, that person will need to either: One, return before the polls close with a valid ID; or Two, if the person’s signature on the provisional ballot envelope matches the signature on their voter registration card it would also be counted.
Polls open Tuesday at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.
Meanwhile, If you can’t vote tomorrow, today is the last day you can take advantage of no-excuse absentee voting. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said instead of your regular polling place, no-excuse absentee voting is being held at your local city hall or county courthouse.
“You can just reach out to your local election authority,” he said. “If you don’t know your local election authority, go to sos.mo.gov on our election site. You can put in your information, and we’ll tell you and give you the contact information for your election authority.”
If you choose to vote via no-excuse absentee, provisional ballots are not available. You will have to bring a valid photo ID.
Here in Missouri, it is a class four election offense to allow a ballot to be seen by any person with the intent of letting it be known how you are about to vote or have voted. Doing so could be punishable by jail time of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500.
If you plan to vote, keep these other election laws in mind:
*Guns are not allowed at polling locations – unless you are a law enforcement officer.
*Political signage, clothing and accessories are not allowed at polling locations.
*Persuading people to vote for certain candidates or political parties is prohibited inside of a polling place or within 25 feet of one.
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