If you won't be able to head to your polling place on Nov. 8 for Election Day, you're able to cast an absentee ballot in Missouri starting Tuesday.
The November midterm general election ballot is packed with important races and issues — including a new U.S. senator, two open U.S. House seats, a ballot measure to potentially legalize recreational marijuana, and an array of local and city-specific issues across the state. Under Missouri law, absentee voting begins six weeks before every election.
Those seeking to vote absentee must provide one of the following reasons:
Absence on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 8) from the jurisdiction in which you're registered to vote;
Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability on Election Day, or being the primary care provider for that person;
Religious belief or practice;
Employment as or by an election authority, or as a first responder, health care worker or member of law enforcement;
Incarceration (if all qualifications to vote remain);
Participation in state confidentiality program due to safety concerns.
Under a new elections law that went into effect last month, you can also vote absentee in-person with no excuse in the two weeks prior to Election Day. Voting absentee by mail also remains an option.
Don't know what's on the ballot in your county? Click here to access Ballotpedia's Sample Ballot tool. Just type in your address, press search, and it'll show you which candidates and ballot measures you'll have the chance to weigh in on.
The deadline to register to vote by mail and in-person for the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 12. You can register easily online at your local election authority or county clerk's office website, or the Secretary of State's website.
How do I vote absentee in-person in Missouri?
If you want to vote absentee in-person, you'll have to do so at the location specified by your election jurisdiction.
In Greene County: You can vote absentee in-person at the Greene County Elections Center, 1126 N. Boonville Ave. in Springfield, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. up to and including Nov. 7.
In Boone County: You can vote absentee in-person at Room 236 of the Boone County Government Center in Columbia, at the corner of Ash and 9th streets, until 5 p.m. on Nov. 7.
If you live outside of those two counties, look up your local election official's website or call their office to find out where to cast your absentee ballot.
You will need to bring one of the following forms of identification under the new elections law requiring photo ID to vote:
A non-expired Missouri driver's or non-driver's license;
A nonexpired military ID, including a veteran's card;
A nonexpired U.S. passport;
Another photo ID issued by the U.S. or state of Missouri which is either not expired or expired after the November 2020 general election.
How do I vote absentee by mail in Missouri?
If you want to cast your absentee ballot by mail, you'll first have to request it. You can do that by either submitting a handwritten request for a ballot or completing a fillable form. You can find the form either on your local election authority or county clerk's website, or on the Secretary of State's website at sos.mo.gov.
Make sure you sign the form and send it off to your election authority with time to spare — the deadline for your elections office to have received the request is 5 p.m. on Oct. 26. Once you get your ballot in the mail, you should fill it out, get it notarized and mail it back to the county clerk's office. Mailed ballots must be received by local elections offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
When it comes to getting your ballot notarized, local parcel shipping stores (UPS and FedEx), as well as banks, offer them. You can also search a list of notaries in your area through the American Association of Notaries' website.
In Greene County: Mail your application form and completed ballot to Greene County Clerk's Office, 940 N Boonville Ave., Room 113, Springfield, MO 65802. Further questions can be directed by email at email@example.com or by phone at (417) 868-4060.
In Boone County: Mail your application form and completed ballot to Boone County Clerk's Office, 801 E. Walnut, Room 236, Columbia MO 65201, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax to (573) 886-4300.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Missouri voters can now cast an absentee ballot. Here's what to know