CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Election day is less than six weeks away, and Missouri’s Secretary of State wants to make sure people know how to cast their vote.
“We have to be involved. We have to be guiding the state. We have to be guiding our country. We do that by participating in elections," said Jay Ashcroft, Missouri’s secretary of state.
“It’s our vote, and we have a democratic society," said Jessica Gerber, a local voter.
“If you want to make sure that you’ve got a voice, make sure that your voice is heard," said John Hutchison, a local voter.
Ashcroft explained three different ways to vote this year:
In-person voting at a polling place on November 3
To vote absentee in-person, voters must stop by their local election office, fill out an absentee application, and cast a ballot anytime before 5 p.m. on November 2. If voting absentee by mail, voters can request an application in person, by mail, email or fax no later than October 21.
A ballot will arrive in the mail, and some voters will need to get it notarized before either mailing the ballot in or returning it in person. It must arrive at the local election office before 7 p.m. on November 3.
People can qualify for absentee voting if they are working as an election worker, cannot vote due to religious beliefs, are outside of their election jurisdiction on election day, or if they’re participating in an address confidentiality program. Also, those who have coronavirus or are at-risk of catching COVID-19 because of health conditions or age can vote absentee.
Any Missourian who is registered to vote can request an application in person or by mail before October 21. Then, a ballot will arrive in the mail. The ballot envelope must be notarized then returned by U.S. Mail to arrive before 7 p.m. on November 3.
“I am not suggesting that anyone use the mail-in ballot. I think it’s far better that they either vote in person or they do absentee in person or absentee ballots. But the law says that if you want to do mail-in, you may. And we’re gonna make sure that if someone wants to use the mail-in ballot, they can," said Ashcroft.
“I feel like it’s definitely much more safe. Fewer opportunities to catch corona. It’s a win, win for everyone," said Hutchison when talking about mail-in voting.
“I believe that it’s safe. I feel like our system is like good enough," said Gerber.
Ashcroft recommended mailing ballots two weeks before election day to make sure they’re counted.