Missouri voters have until October 7 to register for the November 3 general election. Those who are registered will have three options for casting their ballots this year.
Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft and Crawford County Clerk John Martin are each working to get voter information out to Missouri residents who want to vote in November. Information is key to voters this year, not only because it is a presidential election but also because the Missouri Legislature has made some voting changes due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
There are three ways to vote this year—at the polls, absentee, and mail-in. Ashcroft is reaching out to voters to make sure they know how each of voting method works. The most simple is voting in person, which is the same as it has always been. Registered voters can just show up at their polling place on November 3 and cast a ballot.
Absentee voting is much the same as it has been in the past but has been expanded for individuals who are considered at-risk of developing severe complications if they get COVID-19. Following certain requirements, voters can vote absentee in person at the Crawford County Clerk’s office from September 22 to November 2 at 5 p.m. In this case, it is much like voting at the polls, except you are doing it in the clerk’s office. The clerk’s office will also offer special Saturday in-person absentee voting from 8 a.m. to noon on October 31.
Absentee voters will receive a ballot by mail and must complete it and return it in person or by mail no later than 7 p.m. on November 3. If someone is hospitalized after October 21, they may also vote absentee using a deputized absentee team that can deliver a ballot to the hospital.
Voters must meet one of the following conditions to vote absentee, with some required to get their ballots notarized. Those voting absentee due to religious belief or practice, working as an election worker, incarceration (but still eligible to vote), absence on election day, or who are a certified participant in an address confidentiality program must get their ballots notarized. If, however, you are voting absentee because of an incapacity or confinement due to illness, have contracted coronavirus, or are considered at-risk due being age 65 or older, live in a long-term care facility, have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, have a serious heart condition, are immunocompromised, have diabetes, have chronic kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis, or have liver disease, then you do not have to get your ballot notarized.
People may also request a mail-in ballot in person or by mail no later than October 21. These ballots will be sent to voters by mail and must be received by mail at the county clerk’s office no later than 7 p.m. on November 3 in order to be counted.
Applications for requesting a mail-in ballot can be found at www.sos.mo.gov. Mail-in ballots requests should be mailed to: Crawford County Clerk, PO Box AS, Steelville, MO, 65565. Completed ballots must be mailed to the clerk’s office with the envelope notarized. They cannot be dropped off in person.
If you are not registered to vote, you may register until 5 p.m. on October 7. Registration applications can be found at www.sos.mo.gov and can be completed and mailed to the county clerk’s office or filled out online. Those who will turn 18 on or before November 3 must still register to vote before the deadline.
Anyone with questions about absentee or mail-in voting may contact Martin’s office at 573-775-2376, option 6. Those notices can also be found in the public notices of the classified section at www.threeriverspublishing.com.