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VOTER GUIDE: What you need to know about voting in November election

COVID-19 continues to make its impacts everywhere including this upcoming general election.
COVID-19 continues to make its impacts everywhere including this upcoming general election.(WHSV)
Published: Aug. 23, 2020 at 1:06 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The general election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 3.

In Missouri, voters can cast ballots for the upcoming election through in-person, absentee and mail-in voting.

MISSOURI

To check on your voter registration, click here.

IN-PERSON VOTING

To find a polling place, click here.

Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT on Election Day in Missouri. Polling places stay open in Arkansas from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Bring these acceptable forms of ID.

ABSENTEE VOTING

The absentee option requires residents to return completed ballots to local election authorities in the event they cannot head to the polls on Election Day.

To vote absentee, you must meet one of these seven requirements for being absent, per the Missouri Secretary of State:

  1. Absence on Election Day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which such voter is registered to vote;
  2. Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability;
  3. Religious belief or practice;
  4. Employment as an election authority, as a member of an election authority, or by an election authority at a location other than such voter's polling place;
  5. Incarceration, provided all qualifications for voting are retained.
  6. Certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under sections 589.660 to 589.681 because of safety concerns.
  7. For an election that occurs during the year 2020, the voter has contracted or is in an at-risk category for contracting or transmitting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (COVID-19).

For the seventh requirement, Voters who are considered at-risk for contracting or transmitting COVID-19 are those who:

  • Are 65 years of age or older;
  • Live in a long-term care facility licensed under Chapter 198, RSMo.;
  • 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; or
  • Have liver disease.

LIST OF LOCAL ELECTION AUTHORITIES

FORM TO REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT

Local election authorities must receive requests for absentee ballots no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 21.

When requesting the absentee ballot, voters must submit a copy of their personal identification unless they provided a copy with their registration application.

Examples of acceptable identification are:

  • Identification issued by the state of Missouri, an agency of the state, or a local election authority of the state;
  • Identification issued by the United States government or agency thereof;
  • Identification issued by an institution of higher education, including a university, college, vocational and technical school, located within the state of Missouri;
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter; or
  • Other identification approved by the secretary of state under rules promulgated pursuant to Missouri law.

State law requires absentee ballots to be notarized for free.

Absentee ballots can be returned by mail or dropped off to the local election authority in-person.

In order to be counted, your local election authority must receive the ballot by 7 p.m. Election Day.

MAIL-IN VOTING

The new mail-in voting option requires residents to mail completed ballots to local election authorities. Mail-in ballots that are are put in a drop box won’t count.

Registered Missouri voters can request mail-in ballots from their local election authority in person or by mail.

LIST OF LOCAL ELECTION AUTHORITIES

FORM TO REQUEST A MAIL-IN BALLOT

Local election authorities must receive requests for mail-in ballots no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 21.

When requesting the mail-in ballot, voters must submit a copy of their personal identification unless they provided a copy with their registration application.

Examples of acceptable identification are:

  • Identification issued by the state of Missouri, an agency of the state, or a local election authority of the state;
  • Identification issued by the United States government or agency thereof;
  • Identification issued by an institution of higher education, including a university, college, vocational and technical school, located within the state of Missouri;
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter; or
  • Other identification approved by the secretary of state under rules promulgated pursuant to Missouri law.

Mail-in ballots must be returned by mail in the provided envelope, with the statement on the envelope signed and witnessed by a notary. State law does not authorize free notarization for mail-in ballots. And you do not need a notarized seal if you have contracted COVID-19 or is at-risk for getting the virus.

In order to be counted, your local election authority must receive the ballot by 7 p.m. Election Day.

A U.S. Postal Service official is warning Missourians to send in their mail-in ballots at least a week before the election, or by October 27, to ensure they’ll be counted.

What’s On the Ballot:

* Presidential Race

* Governor’s Race

* Lieutenant Governor

* Secretary of State

* State Treasurer

* Attorney General

* U.S. House Races

* Constitutional Amendment 1: Term Limits Question

* Constitutional Amendment 3: Campaign Limits, Lobbyists Gifts & Redistricting

* Select State House and State Senate Races

In Arkansas, voters can cast ballots for the upcoming election through in-person and absentee voting.

ARKANSAS

To check on your voter registration, click here.

IN-PERSON VOTING

To find a polling place, click here.

Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT on Election Day.

Bring these forms of ID.

ABSENTEE VOTING

Ealier in August, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed an executive order that said concern over the COVID-19 pandemic is a valid excuse to vote absentee in the November election.

Previously, state law only allowed absentee ballots due to illness, physical disability or the voter being unavoidably absent. Hutchinson’s order also allows election officials to start processing the absentee ballots a week earlier than usual in response to the pandemic.

Voters can request an absentee ballot application from their local county clerk through the mail or download one from the Arkansas Secretary of State website. The deadline to request one by mail is Tuesday, October 27, one week before the general election.

ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION

Once the application is returned, a ballot will be mailed to the voter. Voters are asked to submit an application for an absentee ballot, whether by mail or electronic means, no later than seven days before the election.

If delivering the absentee ballot in-person, it’s due by close of business the day before the election. If sending it by mail, it must be received by your local county clerk’s office by 7:30 p.m. on election day in order to count.

Gov. Hutchinson is asking Arkansas voters to submit an application for an absentee ballot as soon as possible and mail the completed ballot ahead of the deadlines.

What’s On the Ballot:

* Presidential Race

* U.S. Senate Seat

* Issue 1: Statewide Use Tax

* Issue 2: Term Limits

* Issue 8: Optometry Question

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