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How do you qualify for absentee voting?
Voters in Missouri qualify for absentee voting if they can state one of seven reasons (“excuses”):
1. Absence on election day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which I am registered;
2. Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability; including caring for a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability;
3. Religious belief or practice;
4. Employment as an election authority or by an election authority at a location other than my polling place;
5. Incarceration, although I have retained all the necessary qualifications for voting;
6. Certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under sections 589.660 to 589.681 because of safety concerns;
7. I have contracted or am in an at-risk category for contracting or transmitting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
At-risk voters are individuals who:
*Are 65 years of age 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 immuno-compromised *Have chronic kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis
*Have liver disease *Have diabetes
Every registered voter is eligible to request a mail-in ballot without stating an excuse.
Is there an application process? Where do voters apply?
Yes, Missourians must apply for (request) an absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots can be obtained in the County Clerk’s office or online at https://www.sos.mo.gov. Applications can be returned to the County Clerk’s office in person, by mail, email, or fax. The deadline to submit an application for an absentee ballot to be mailed is October 21, 2020; however, in-person absentee voting is available until 5:00 PM on November 2, 2020.
Missourians must apply for (request) a mail-in ballot; however, requests for mail-in ballots can only be returned to the County Clerk’s office in person or by US mail. Applications for mail-in ballots can be obtained in the County Clerk’s office or online at https://www.sos.mo.gov. The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is October 21, 2020.
Where do voters pick up ballots?
Absentee ballots must be delivered to the voter by one of three ways: personally, in the County Clerk’s office, by US mail, or by a bi-partisan absentee team (when applicable). Absentee ballots must be delivered personally to the voter because RSMo Section 115.637(9) makes possessing an official ballot, except in the performance of a voter’s individual voting privilege or the official duty of an election authority, a class four election offense.
Mail-in ballots will be delivered to the voter via US mail.
What is the process of mailing in ballots?
For absentee ballots, voters who are incapacitated or confined due to illness or physical disability (excuse #2) or in an at-risk category for contracting or transmitting COVID-19 (excuse #7) do not have to have their ballot envelope notarized (although signatures are matched against those on the voter registration file). All other absentee voters must have their ballot envelopes notarized. Absentee ballots may be returned to the County Clerk’s office in-person by the voter or relative within the 2nd degree, or by US mail.
All mail-in ballots must be notarized and can only be returned to the County Clerk’s office via US mail.
Absentee and mail-in ballots must be received by 7:00 PM on Election Day to be counted.
How do voters make sure their ballots have been received?
Voters may call the County Clerk’s office at (660)727-3283 if they wish to verify their ballot has been received.