Frequently AskEd QUESTions
Who made this?
Several Missouri volunteers! My name is Elad Gross. I'm a civil rights attorney in Missouri. I keep the website updated and help you troubleshoot. You can email me at Elad@Elad4MO.org.
How can I vote in Missouri?
1) In person on election day
2) In person before election day at your local election authority through in-person absentee voting
3) By absentee ballot, which you can mail in or bring to your local election authority
4) By mail-in ballot, which you must return by mail
Which is the best way to vote?
The one that makes sure you can participate!
If you can, vote in person on election day.
If you can vote in person but are worried about exposure to COVID-19 or if you will not be free on election day, vote in person at your local election authority before election day. To vote early, you will be voting absentee, which means you will need to use 1 of 7 approved excuses. You can also ask your local election authority about curbside voting!
You can also vote absentee or by using a mail-in ballot from home. If you can, vote using an absentee ballot instead of the mail-in ballot. Voting absentee gives you more flexibility. Keep reading!
What's the difference between an absentee ballot and a mail-in ballot?
In Missouri, there are two ways to vote from home: Absentee ballots and mail-in ballots. You must request one be sent to you, and you can do that using our system.
Absentee ballots require you to use 1 of 7 excuses. Those excuses are:
1) Absence on election day
2) Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including caring for someone who is incapacitated or confined
3) Religious belief or practice
4) Working the election
5) Incarceration, but still qualified to vote
6) Participation in the address confidentiality program
7) Contracted COVID-19 or in an at-risk category, which means you are one of these: 65 or older; have a serious heart condition; are immunocompromised; have liver disease; live in a long-term care facility; have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma; have chronic kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis; OR have diabetes
Excuses 2 and 7 do not require notaries. The rest do.
You can REQUEST an absentee ballot in person, by email, by fax, and by mail. You can submit the actual BALLOT by mail or in person.
Mail-in ballots do not require an excuse. However, you do need a notary.
You can REQUEST a mail-in ballot in person or by mail. You can also submit the actual BALLOT by mail.
How long does it take to get a ballot?
You can apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot right now. Requests will be held until September 22. Then the election authorities will start processing them. The election authority will respond within 3 working days of receiving your request. You should receive your ballot soon after.
Can anyone bring in my materials for me?
Not anyone, but you can have help from family!
Requests for absentee and mail-in ballots can be made by your spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, parent-in-law, child-in-law, or guardian. These folks can also return your sealed (and, when necessary, notarized) absentee ballot for you.
What are the deadlines?
October 7 is the deadline to register to vote.
October 21 is the deadline to request an absentee or mail-in ballot.
November 2 is the deadline to vote absentee in person.
Those are the hard deadlines, but you will want to send in any absentee or mail-in ballots well before the November 3 election. If you still have your ballot on October 27, you should strongly consider bringing in your completed ballot yourself. Otherwise, you'll need to surrender your ballot on election day, so bring it with you to the polls. The surrendering process is easy.
What if I still have my ballot on election day?
That's OK! Bring it with you to your polling place. You will "surrender" your ballot by signing a document, and you will be able to vote. But try to stay on top of the deadlines!
What if I Didn't get a ballot?
You can still vote on election day. Go to your polling place and let the poll workers know what's happening.
If you can, call your election authority in advance. You can vote absentee in person at your election authority through November 2.
When can I vote if I have a felony on my record?
You can vote as soon as you are off supervision. Make sure to register to vote as soon as you are!
What If someone stops me from voting?
Protect your right to vote. Try to figure out what the claimed issue is and get as many details as you can. You may have to go to your local election authority, even on election day.
If you need help, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).
Remember: Get in line by 7 PM!
Can I collect voters' ballots to submit them?
No. That is against the law in Missouri. Organizations and individuals should not collect ballots or set up drop boxes. Only local election authorities can do that.
How can I find a notary?
You can contact your local election authority. Many libraries, banks, and organizations are offering free notary services. Notaries cannot charge for absentee ballots, but the legislature did not prevent notaries from charging for mail-in ballots. The Secretary of State has a list of notaries willing to provide services for free.
If you are a notary interested in volunteering, or if you are looking for one, you can also sign up at http://motaryconnections.org/, a volunteer effort in Missouri.
Can I track my ballot?
Depending on your local election authority, you may be able to. Look for instructions and tracking information when your ballot comes in. You can also contact your local election authority to verify that they have received your ballot.
Any special rules for a new voter?
If you registered to vote by mail, you may need to submit a copy of identification when requesting a ballot. Make sure to contact your local election authority if you have any questions.
How can I contact my local election authority?
We have a list of all of the local election authorities in Missouri right here.
How can I help?
You can share this website!
You can register voters! Map The Vote is a great resource to help you find neighborhoods in need of registration.
If you have ideas, feel free to email Elad@Elad4MO.org.