With some of the new absentee and mail-in options for voting in 2020, it might seem confusing to figure out what is best for you.
Fortunately, the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition has put together this chart to help us figure it out.
We'll look at your absentee/mail-in voting options in 4 easy steps:
1. What kind of ballot do I qualify for?
2. Where can I get that ballot request form?
4. What is the deadline to apply to vote absentee/mail-in?
3. Once I vote, will I need a Notary for my ballot? How do I find one?
1. What kind of ballot do I qualify for?
For COVID-related excuses, you will qualify for under one of these options:
• Absentee Ballot under reason #2 or #7 (with qualifying condition)
• Mail-in Ballot (for any voter who doesn't qualify under #2 or #7 but prefers to vote absentee by mail)
Note: If you qualify to vote absentee under #2 or #7 you can also choose to vote absentee in person at the Board of Election office, 300 N. Tucker Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63101 until 5pm the day before the election. You can fill out your absentee request form and vote at the same time (providing the absentee voting is open for that election). Mail-in ballots can ONLY be returned by mail.
2. Where can I get my ballot?
Both Absentee and Mail-in ballots can be requested in-person or by returning this combined Absentee and Mail-in Ballot Request Form to the Saint Louis Board of Election Commissioners, 300 N. Tucker Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63101.
You can also submit the PDF form via email to email@example.com
NOTE: For the Primary you must mark which ballot you want. (Republican, Democrat, Constitution, Green, Libertarian, or Non-partisan - issues only) If this is your first time voting after a new voter registration by mail, you may also need to send a copy of your ID, see details on the form.
Now, if you're looking at an absentee ballot, it might be a good time to consider if getting on the Permanently Disabled Absentee Voter List makes sense for you. You can download the form to apply for the Permanently Disabled Voter List at this link. Once on this list, you will be delivered an absentee ballot application for every election you are eligible to vote in.
3. What is the deadline to apply for an absentee/mail-in ballot?
• August 4, 2020, Primary Election --> July 22, 2020
• November 3, 2020, General Election --> October 21, 2020
NOTE: Your application must be received by the Board of Election on that date to have your ballot sent to you. You can still vote absentee in-person up to 5pm the day before the election for any of the 7 approved absentee excuses. Mail-in ballots MUST be returned by mail.
4. When I vote, do I need to sign my ballot envelope in the presence of a Notary Public?
• If you vote absentee under excuse #2 or #7, your ballot DOES NOT require a Notary to return.
• If you're on the Permanently Disabled Absentee Voter list, your ballot DOES NOT require a Notary to return.
• All Mail-in ballots DO REQUIRE a notary to sign your ballot envelope to be counted.
• Any other absentee excuses (#1, 3, 4, 5, 6) DO REQUIRE a notary in most cases.
Where can I find a Notary Public?
• The Missouri Voter Protection Coalition and the ACLU are organizing a notary hub to make it easy to connect to a local notary.
• Notaries by law can't charge for notary services on a ballot but some notaries may charge a travel/mileage fee as that is separate from the Notary fee itself.
• You can search for a Notary on the Secretary of State website
• Check with your local bank, most have Notaries who will provide services to customers
• The MO Secretary of State has created an Online directory of Volunteer Notaries
• There are many notary events being set up across STL, some of those events are listed below:
DEADLINE TO RETURN BALLOTS: Ballots must be received by the Board of Election by 7pm on Election Day.
If you're a Notary and want to help voters, you can join the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition Notary Coordination Hub
**There is a pending case with the ACLU (among others) with the Missouri Supreme Court to waive this notary requirement, we should have the ruling soon, but you should prepare to find a notary in the event that they are unsuccessful. You can listen to the oral arguments here.**
This blog is meant to be a top-level look at absentee voting in St. Louis city. The Saint Louis Board of Election Commissioners has more detail on all the absentee and mail-in voting options for 2020 on their website. The MO Secretary of State website has additional information including their summaries of the types of ballots as well.
Also, please follow the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition on Facebook or sign up for text alerts: Text MOVPC to 66866.
No matter how you vote, be sure to make your voice heard this and every Election Day.