Missourians can start their absentee voting today.
Voters can visit or email their local county clerk’s office to cast an absentee ballot and can also request an absentee ballot to be sent by mail. A voter must provide a reason for casting an absentee ballot in their request, which include absence on Election Day, being an individual at risk for contracting Covid-19 and religious belief or practice.
As clusters of people in voting lines could pose a risk for transmission of the coronavirus, absentee ballots could play a key factor in this year’s election.
Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon said there have already been more absentee requests than the more than 6,000 requests from the previous 2016 presidential election.
“We have already broken 10,000 requests for mail absentee or mail mail-in votes,” Lennon said. “With it being the first day of absentee voting and already having that number of requests, then I think we’re going to have a significantly higher number than what we’ve seen in past years.”
Steve Korsmeyer, the Cole County Clerk, said his office is trying to make it easier for Missourians to get out and vote, including a new alternative: curbside voting.
“If you decide you don’t want to come into our office and you don’t feel comfortable coming in, you can call ahead and we can get your ballot ready,” Korsmeyer said. “We can vote you in the car if you’re not capable of coming into the building, just whatever it takes to get people out to vote.”
After completing a request, the clerk’s office process that and then sends the ballot back. This form will need to be notarized at a bank, a county clerks’ office or other notaries. But, voters who are requesting absentee because they are at risk to contract the coronavirus or confinement due to an illness do not have to get their final ballot notarized.
The absentee ballot request period will be open until Oct. 21.