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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 answers to frequently asked questions about voting, visit newstribune.com/votefaq. For full coverage of the Nov. 3 election, visit newstribune.com/election.

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Document: Missouri Absentee Ballot Request Form

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Document: Missouri mail-in ballot request form

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Absentee voting has begun for the Nov. 3 general election.

Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer said his office received Nov. 3 absentee ballots this past week.

As of Monday, 1,300 Cole County residents had pre-filed for an absentee ballot, Korsmeyer said.

"We've seen no big surge yet in people wanting to register to vote in this election," Korsmeyer said. "I don't anticipate we'll have any delays in getting results on election night because we'll start going through the absentee/mail-in ballots as early as possible."

In the August primary election, just more than 36 percent of registered Cole County voters cast ballots. With November's election featuring highly anticipated presidential and guberntorial races, Korsmeyer expects an overall turnout of 70 percent or more in Cole County, similar to the county's 71 percent turnout in the 2016 presidential election.

Absentee voting can take place 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Cole County Clerk's Office on the second floor of the Cole County Courthouse Annex on East High Street in Jefferson City.

Absentee ballots and mail-in ballots must be requested by Oct. 21 by mail, and absentee ballots may be requested no later than Nov. 2 in person.

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

A registered voter must provide one of the following reasons to vote absentee in the Nov. 3 election: absent from the registered jurisdiction on Election Day; contracted or in an at-risk category for contracting or transmitting COVID-19; 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 their polling place; incarcerated; or participating in the address confidentiality program because of safety concerns.

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