Increase in requests for absentee and mail-in ballots in Cape Girardeau County

Increase in requests for absentee and mail-in ballots in Cape Girardeau County
Missouri mail-in and absentee mail-in ballots must arrive at a local election office by 7 p.m. on Election Day. (Source: Isabelle Hanson/KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - As of 5 p.m. on October 21, time’s up to request an absentee ballot or mail-in ballot by mail in Missouri.

“We’ve already surpassed any amount of absentee ballots that we have had in any election," said Cape Girardeau County Clerk Kara Clark Summers.

According to Summers, they’ve received a record number of requests for absentee ballots and absentee ballots already cast ahead of the November 3 election. She said they planned for more requests than ever before.

Summers said the most common reason for voters to request absentee ballots is coronavirus concerns.

“We have hired extra staff that are just dedicated to mailing out those ballots, and they are working on it. They have been working on it diligently, every day, all day long," said Summers.

Once eligible voters receive their Missouri mail-in or absentee ballots, they can cast their vote. Mail-in ballots must be returned to a local election office by mail. But absentee ballots can be accepted by mail or in-person at the voter’s local election office.

“We’ve been calling those individuals to try to ask them, did they get their ballot, are they planning to return their ballot, and how are they doing that, so we can assist the voter in making sure their ballot gets returned," said Summers.

According to Summers, the Cape Girardeau County Clerk’s Office worked with both the Cape Girardeau and Jackson post offices to make sure ballots are prioritized and kept local.

Here are important voting deadlines in the Heartland for mail-in ballots.

  • Missouri - Ballots must arrive at local election office by November 3, Election Day
  • Illinois - Ballots postmarked by November 3, ballots must arrive to local election office by November 27
  • Kentucky - Ballots postmarked by November 3, ballots must arrive to local election office by November 6

Summers said to call your local election office if you need help determining how to vote.

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