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The News Tribune reports on elections to equip community members with the tools they need to participate in democracy. That includes sharing candidates' positions on important issues and making information about the voting process accessible. For full coverage of local and statewide issues in the November 2020 election, visit newstribune.com/election

We welcome your feedback and questions about elections and other news coverage anytime via email to [email protected].

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, more voters are considering absentee and mail-in voting.

Here is a list of answers to commonly asked questions about absentee and mail-in voting in Missouri.

What is the difference between absentee and mail-in voting?

While both absentee and mail-in require you to be a registered voter, absentee voting has other requirements.

Both require you to have your ballot notarized, but a couple of absentee voting groups are exempt from the notary requirement.

You can vote absentee in-person or by mail, while you must mail in your mail-in ballot.

I want to vote by absentee or mail-in. How do I do that?

You can request an absentee or mail-in ballot from your local election authority. In Cole County, contact Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer's office at 573-634-9101 or [email protected]

You can fill out a mail-in or absentee voting request form at sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/ElectionGoVoteMissouri/2020FillableBallotApplication-GeneralElection.pdf and return it to your local election authority.

You can request a Missouri absentee ballot by filling out the form at sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/ElectionGoVoteMissouri//2020AbsenteeBallotrequestformfillable.pdf.

You can request a Missouri mail-in ballot by filling out the form at sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/ElectionGoVoteMissouri//2020MailInBallotRequest.pdf.

Document: Missouri mail-in ballot request form

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Document: Missouri Absentee Ballot Request Form

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Are there requirements to vote mail-in?

You must be a registered voter in your jurisdiction.

Are there requirements to vote absentee?

You must be a registered voter and provide one of the following reasons for voting absentee:

Absent from the jurisdiction you are registered to vote in on Election Day.

Contracted or in an at-risk category for contracting or transmitting COVID-19 (this applies for elections that occur in 2020).

Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, which also includes a person who is primarily responsible for taking physical care of someone who is incapacitated or confined because of illness or disability.

Religious belief or practice.

Employed as an election authority, member of an election authority or by an election authority at a location other than your polling place.

Incarcerated, provided you retained all qualifications for voting.

Certified participating in the address confidentiality program because of safety concerns (see sections 589.660 to 589.681 of the Missouri Revised Statutes).

Who is considered at risk for contracting or transmitting COVID-19?

Those who meet any of these criteria:

Are 65 years or older.

Live in a long-term care facility.

 Have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma.

Have serious heart conditions.

Are immunocompromised.

Have diabetes.

Have chronic kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis.

Have liver disease.

When does absentee voting begin?

Sept. 22.

When is the last day I can request an absentee ballot by mail?

Oct. 21.

When is the last day I can request an absentee ballot in person?

Nov. 2.

When is the last day I can request a mail-in ballot by mail?

Oct. 21.

Do I need to notarize my absentee ballot?

Yes, unless you are voting absentee due to one of these situations:

Incapacity or confinement due to illness.

Having contracted COVID-19 or are at risk (see above for what constitutes "at risk").

Do I need to notarize my mail-in ballot?

Yes, you must have your envelope notarized.

Where can I find a notary for my election ballot?

Visit sos.mo.gov/elections/MailinNotary for a list of notaries who have volunteered to help voters get their mail-in or absentee ballot envelopes notarized at no charge.

Do I have to mail in my absentee ballot?

No, you can vote absentee either in person or by mail. Your local election authority must receive your ballot by 7 p.m. on Election Day. You can vote absentee in person at your local election authority's office.

Do I have to mail in my mail-in ballot?

Yes, mail-in ballots must be returned via U.S. mail to your local election authority in the provided envelope, with the statement on the envelope signed and witnessed by a notary.

When must I mail my mail-in ballot?

For your vote to be counted, your local election authority must receive your mail-in ballot before polls close on Election Day (7 p.m. Nov. 3).

I registered by mail and have never voted in person before, but I plan to request an absentee or mail-in ballot by mail. Do I need to submit anything?

Yes, you must submit a copy of your personal identification unless you provided a copy with your registration application.

According to the Missouri Secretary of State's Office, acceptable forms of voter ID are:

Identification issued by Missouri, a Missouri agency or a local election authority of Missouri.

Identification issued by the United States government or a U.S. agency.

Identification issued by an institution of higher education located in Missouri, including a university, college, vocational or technical school.

A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that has your name and address.

Samples of acceptable IDs to vote can be found at sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/ElectionGoVoteMissouri/AcceptableIDstoVote—01.17.2020.pdf

For more information about absentee and mail-in voting, visit the Missouri Secretary of State's Office website.

Information compiled from the Missouri Secretary of State's Office website.

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