April 6 absentee voting opens
County clerks across the state are gearing up for the April 2021 election. The election process will return to pre-pandemic operations after Missourians saw a delay in going to the polls for the April election in 2020.
Eligible voters can cast an absentee ballot by contacting the Newton County clerk’s office.
Absentee voting officially opened on Feb. 23 and run for 6 weeks prior to the election. Residents who are not registered to vote but want to cast a ballot in the April election have until March 10 to register.
In the 2020 election cycle, registered voters age 65 or older, or anyone who had a medical condition that made them vulnerable to COVID-19 could vote absentee. All other registered voters could vote by mail if they had their ballot notarized.The provision in the bill that allowed people to vote absentee in the November 2020 election expired at the end of the year and will not be extended.
Registered Missourians who expect to be prevented from going to their polling place on Election Day may vote absentee beginning six weeks prior to an election.
Absentee voters must provide one of the following reasons for voting absentee:
1. Absence on Election Day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which such voter is registered to vote;
2. Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability;
3. Religious belief or practice;
4. Employment as an election authority, as a member of an election authority, or by an election authority at a location other than such voter's polling place;
5. Incarceration, provided all qualifications for voting are retained.
6. Certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under sections 589.660 to 589.681 because of safety concerns.
Voters can request absentee ballots from their local election authority in person, by mail, by fax or by e-mail. Relatives within the second degree (spouse, parents and children) may complete an absentee ballot application, in person, on behalf of the voter who wishes to vote absentee.
Mail in or faxed absentee ballot requests must be received by the election authority no later than the 5 p.m. on the second Wednesday prior to any election. Voters can vote by absentee in the office of the local election authority until 5 p.m. the night before the election.
For additional information contact the Newton County clerk’s office.