Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Cape Girardeau Mayor Bob Fox will join other local officials at Cape Girardeau City Hall today at 11:45 a.m. to promote the safety of in-person voting and the new 2020 absentee and mail-in voting options. The public is encouraged to attend the event at 401 Independence St. As the Nov. 3 General Election approaches and new voting options are temporarily available due to COVID-19, Ashcroft said officials “want to make sure Missourians are aware of upcoming deadlines for registering to vote and for requesting and returning your ballot.”
Legislation expanded voting options for the August and November 2020 elections:
• A new, COVID-19-related excuse to qualify for an absentee ballot A voter is eligible if they have coronavirus or are at risk because they fit into any of the following categories: age 65 or older; live in a long term care facility; 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. A voter who is eligible as a result of being susceptible to COVID-19 may cast a ballot without obtaining notarization of the ballot envelope.
• A new “mail-in ballot” option that can be requested by any registered voter All registered voters are eligible, but the ballot envelope, per state law, must be notarized. Additionally, state law requires mail-in ballots to be returned to the local election authority by U.S. mail only.
“Even with the additional options, I want to assure Missouri voters that their local election authorities are taking precautions to make voting in person safe and secure,” Ashcroft said. “My office has provided them with sanitization options, floor distancing strips, face masks, face shields and other items to assist in creating a safe voting environment. Voting in person is the most secure way to cast a ballot.”
Upcoming deadlines are listed below:
• Last day to register to vote in November election: Oct. 7
• Last day to request, by mail, an absentee or mail-in ballot be sent to you by your local election official: Oct. 21
• Last day to vote by absentee in person at your local election office: close of business Nov. 2
• Last day for your local election official to receive your ballot: 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3
More information, flyers, absentee and mail-in ballot applications, and contact information for the Secretary of State’s office and local election authorities may be found at www.GoVoteMissouri.com.