SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — We are officially six weeks away from the April 4 general municipal election and today marks an important date in the election season.

Today is the start of absentee voting in Missouri.

Absentee voting allows voters to cast their ballots before the April 4 election but you must have one of the following reasons:

  • Absence on Election Day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which such voter is registered to vote.
  • Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability on Election Day, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability and resides at the same address.
  • Religious belief or practice.
  • Employment as an election authority or by an election authority at a location other than such voter’s polling place, a first responder, a health care worker or a member of law enforcement.
  • Incarceration, provided all qualifications for voting are retained.
  • Certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under RSMo 589.660 to 589.681 because of safety concerns.

To vote absentee by mail, voters may either submit a handwritten request or complete the fillable form available at https://vote.greenecountymo.gov. These requests must be signed by the voters and received in the Office of the County Clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the second Wednesday prior to the election, March 22.

Mailed ballots must be voted, notarized, returned by mail, and received in the Office of the
County Clerk before 7 p.m. on Election Day.

If you plan on going down to your local election cent, you must have a valid form of ID with you, whether that be a driver’s license, a passport or a state- or US-issued ID.

Historically voter turnout in local elections has been low.

According to nationalcivicleague.org, across the U.S., only 15-27% of eligible voters cast a ballot in their local election.

Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller said he expects voter turnout to be about the same as the 2019 general municipal election.

“You’ve got issues from the city of Springfield,” Schoeller said. “You also have issues from SPS and of course other districts and cities have issues on the ballot for voters. Candidates draw out voters, but issues especially do.”

There are more than 180,000 people registered to vote in Greene county.

During the 2019 Municipal Election, about 30,000 people cast their ballot, which comes out to about 17%.