Missouri secretary of state insists in-person voting will be safe for primaries, general election

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ST. LOUIS – Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft visited the St. Louis area Wednesday to talk about campaigning and voting in the COVID-19 era. Voting safety and mail-in options were topics of discussion.

Wednesday marked the last day to register to vote in the August 11 primary. Ashcroft was at the St. Louis Downtown Airport to discuss voter registration as well as the safety of in-person voting and the new 2020 absentee and mail-in voting options approved by Governor Mike Parson for this year’s election.

“Please Missourians, get out and vote,” Ashcroft said. “It’s safe, secure, easy; make your voice heard on August 11.”

Ashcroft wants to assure the public that polling places will be safe for the primary and the general election on November 3.

“From a hygiene standpoint and a disease transmission standpoint, this will be the safest election that anybody in Missouri has ever participated in,” he said.

While the secretary of state said voting in person is the best way to go, Gov. Parson is allowing anyone to vote by mail as long as they’re a registered voter.

However, the ballot envelope must be notarized, per state law. Mail-in ballots have to be delivered to the local election authority by US Mail only.

“When you return the ballot, you may not drop it off at a clerk’s office. It must be mailed back using US Mail,” Ashcroft said.

The new state senate bill also adds an option for absentee voting. Now a voter can use an absentee ballot if they have coronavirus or are in an at-risk category for getting it. Any registered voter can request and cast a mail-in ballot.

“If you are positive for COVID and are staying home, that would work for you and it doesn’t require a notary,” Ashcroft said.

But if you want a ballot, you’ll need to file an online request no later than July 22.

To view materials and information on absentee and mail-in voting for 2020, visit www.govotemissouri.com.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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