SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is joining Springfield/Greene County leaders to let voters know what options are available in Greene County.
On the first day of in-person absentee voting in Missouri, Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller expressed his excitement.
“Today is a day that we come together as a nation as we head towards November 3,” says Schoeller. “Because regardless of your party, it is about your voice. It is about us coming together in a peaceful way. That’s what voting is about. That’s what our Founding Fathers understood is that we resolve our differences at the ballot box.”
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.”
Ashcroft also says through in-person voting, you don’t have to rely on a signature match, getting your ballot notarized or the post office. But, if you choose to vote by mail, he says don’t rush through the ballot and make a mistake. Take your time filling it out. On the other hand, Ashcroft says don’t wait until the last minute to put your ballot in the mail. Sometimes delivery can take longer than expected.
Whichever method you choose, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure encourages people to do their civic duty.
“Voting is a sacred right,” says McClure. “What we have as Americans is an obligation to honor that right, to express our opinion, to carry it out.”
Reverend Jenn Simmons with Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri helps people get registered to vote.
“During these days as we prepare for the upcoming election, we encourage you to make a plan,” says Simmons. “To find out, to get through all these different resources and find out what is yours to do and how you’re gonna get there. If you don’t feel comfortable getting to the polls, you know you can get an absentee ballot.”
Below are voting deadlines:
- 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