Voting in the Time of COVID-19

New voting options are available to Missourians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Missouri General Assembly passed legislation that allows older adults and people with serious health conditions to submit absentee ballots without a notary. The bill also allows anyone to vote by mail as long as the ballot is notarized. As a result, everyone has the option to vote without going to their local polling place this year.

To vote using one of the new methods this fall, follow these guidelines to figure out the appropriate ballot request.

  1. Check Voter Registration: Everyone must be registered to vote at their current address, regardless of voting method. Voters must submit an application by July 8 to vote in the August election.
  2. Request Absentee Ballot: In addition to the traditional reasons for absentee voting (i.e. absence on election day, confinement due to illness, and religious belief), absentee voting is now available to people who have a chronic condition or circumstance outlined below.
      • Positive for COVID-19
      • Age 65 years and older
      • Long-term care facility resident
      • Immunocompromised
      • Serious heart conditions
      • Liver disease
      • Diabetes
      • Lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
      • Kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis

Voters who meet the COVID-19-related conditions do not need to have their ballots notarized.

  1. Request Mail-In Ballot: Missourians who do not qualify for absentee voting can still vote by mail. People voting by mail must have their ballots notarized by an official notary who can often be found at banks, libraries, and other offices. Notaries are appointed by the state to serve as an unbiased witness to document signing.
  2. Submit to Local Election Authority: Absentee and mail-in ballot requests must be submitted to the local election authorities by the 2020 election calendar. Voters can find their local election authority’s address, website, and contact information on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website or by calling 1-800-NOW-VOTE (1-800-669-8683).
2020 Election Calendar
Election Date Deadline to Register to Vote Deadline to Request Mail-In & Absentee Ballots
Primary Election


August 4 July 8 July 22
General Election November 3 October 7 October 21


During the 2020 elections, voters will determine who will hold elected offices at the local, state, and federal levels as well as decide whether to amend the Missouri Constitution. The primary election will select party candidates for local and statewide offices such as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State. Medicaid expansion will also be on the August 4 ballot.  In addition to the United States presidential election on November 3, the general election will determine statewide office holders, term limits for certain statewide officials, restrictions to lobbyist gifts and campaign contributions, and procedures for the redistricting process.  All Missourians should prepare to vote and participate in the upcoming elections as they will be influential for the future policy environment.

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Lyndsey Wilbers Cavender

Additional information about voting procedures and sample ballots for each election can be found on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.

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