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The November general election in Missouri is fast approaching, with a high-profile U.S. Senate race on the ballot along with votes on several crucial issues and numerous races for state and local offices.
Thanks to a new law that took effect on Aug. 28, voters will encounter new rules and deadlines this year.
For instance, pending the results of court challenges, voters need a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. They also have two weeks of no-excuse in-person absentee voting available to them for the first time.
To help voters keep up with the changes, The Beacon presents a list of important dates heading into the 2022 general election season.
Sept. 27: First day of in-person absentee voting
Missourians with a reason for why they cannot physically be at the polls on Nov. 8 can vote absentee six weeks before the election.
You can qualify for an absentee ballot if you:
- have a physical disability that prevents you from making it to the polls in person;
- expect to be out of town on Election Day;
- are an election worker, first responder, health care worker or member of law enforcement;
- are prevented by religious beliefs from going to the polls in person;
- serve active-duty in the military;
- are a Missouri citizen living outside the U.S.
Absentee ballots can be obtained from your local election authority in person, by mail or by fax. The secretary of state’s office does not handle those requests.
A close guardian or relative can request an absentee ballot for those who may not be able to do it themselves.
You can also visit your local election offices to vote absentee. Check the hours of availability first, as those can vary from county to county.
Oct. 12: Last day to register to vote
If you are a Missouri resident and U.S. citizen and will be 18 by Election Day, you can register to vote online, in person or by mailing a form to your local election authority. People with a felony conviction must have completed probation or parole to register.
Voters can visit the secretary of state’s website at sos.mo.gov to register online. Paper applications can be obtained from a county clerk’s office, a local board of elections or some community sources. Mailed applications must be postmarked by Oct. 12.
If you are already registered but have moved or gotten married or divorced, you’ll need to update your voter registration via a form on the secretary of state’s website.
Oct. 25: In-person absentee voting begins
For the first time, except for emergency circumstances in 2020 because of the pandemic, voters will be able to cast absentee ballots in person during the two weeks leading up to Election Day without citing a reason for why they would be unable to show up at the polls.
The no-excuse voting period was introduced in the state’s new voting law, HB 1878, but will only take effect if the photo ID requirement remains operational.
Oct. 26: Last day for absentee ballot request
The deadline to request an absentee ballot online or by mail is 5 p.m.
Nov. 8: Election Day
Polls in Missouri will open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Find your polling place on the secretary of state’s website. Absentee ballots must be returned to your polling place by 7 p.m. or postmarked by Election Day if you choose to mail your ballot.