Officials have provided information for those who wish to vote by absentee ballot in the Nov. 3 general election.
First, today, Wednesday Oct. 7, is the deadline in Missouri to register to vote, or notify election officials of a changed address in order to cast a ballot in the upcoming election. Registration can be done online, by mail with an Oct. 7 postmark, or in person at the Gasconade County Clerk's office in the courthouse in Hermann, which will close at 4:30..
According to a fact sheet from the office of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, there are several steps for anyone who wants to vote via absentee. Initially, an application must be completed to request an absentee ballot -- a process which be done in person, by mail, email or fax. The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is in two weeks, at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21. Absentee ballots may be requested in person up until Monday, Nov. 2.
Secondly, after receiving the ballot, the voter must fill out their choices and have the envelope notarized, with certain exemptions. For instance, incapacitation or confinement due to illness are circumstances that ensure the eligibility to vote without a notary seal. Anyone who has contracted coronavirus this year, or who is at risk to covid due to such reasons as living in a long-term care facility, also provides the basis for voting by absentee without a notary.
Voting without notarization is enabled for voters due to religious beliefs or practice or absence on election day, among other provisions allowed by state law. Free notary services are available at the Scenic Regional Library branches in both Hermann and New Haven. Ballots must be returned either by mail or in person to the County Clerk's office. Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 in person or by Nov. 3 if returned by mail.
Mail-in voting calls for completion of an application, done either by mail or in person. Such ballots must be made by 5 p.m. Oct. 21. After choices are made on the ballot, the return envelope must be notarized. The completed ballots must be returned only through U.S. mail. All registered Missouri voters are eligible to vote by mail. The mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Nov. 3.