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Missouri vote by mail guide

Missouri vote by mail deadlines

  • Earliest day to apply: January 1, 2020
  • Request your mail-in ballot (online): N/A
  • Request your mail-in ballot (by mail): Received by October 21, 2020
  • Request your mail-in ballot (in person): Received by October 21, 2020
  • Return your mail-in ballot (by mail): Received by November 3, 2020
  • Return your mail-in ballot (in person): N/A

Missouri vote by mail rules

Missouri distinguishes between "absentee ballots" and "mail-in ballots."

Mail-in ballots:

  • In 2020, any registered MO voters can sign up for a mail-in ballot without providing an excuse
  • You can only return your mail-in ballot via the mail.
  • Everyone who uses a mail-in ballot will need to have their voted ballot notarized.

Absentee ballots:

  • Absentee ballots require an excuse.
  • You can return an absentee ballot in person or by mail.
  • Some absentee voters will need to have their voted ballot notarized.

You can request an absentee ballot if:

  • you will be absent from your voting jurisdiction on Election Day
  • you are incapacitated or confined due to illness or physical disability, or caring for an incapacitated person
  • you are restricted by religious belief or practice
  • you are employed by Election Day authority
  • you are incarcerated, but have retained all your voting qualifications
  • You have contracted or are in a high-risk category for contracting or transmitting COVID-19. You are "high risk" if you are 65 or older, live in a long-term care facility, or have a have a chronic lung / heart / kidney / liver condition.

Missouri vote by mail ID requirements

Missouri distinguishes between "absentee ballots" and "mail-in ballots."

  • Mail-in ballot: Any registered voter can use a mail-in ballot, but you will need to have your voted ballot notarized --- and you can only return it via the mail (not in person).
  • Absentee ballots: You will need a valid excuse for using an absentee ballot. If you are voting by absentee ballot due to disability, illness, or COVID-19 --- you do not need to have it notarized. If you are voting by absentee ballot for any other reason, you will need to have your voted absentee ballot notarized.

Missouri vote by mail directions

In almost all cases, you will need to sign up to vote by mail. The state won’t just mail you a ballot. Don't worry: we will walk you through it. There are only a handful of steps:

  1. You submit an application to vote by mail
  2. Your local election office processes your application
  3. Your local election office sends your ballot to you
  4. You vote using the ballot and return it by the deadline

Apply to vote by mail

  1. Download the Missouri vote by mail application.
  2. Fill out all of the required fields.
  3. Print the form.
  4. Sign and date your form. This is very important.
  5. Mail or hand-deliver your completed form directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
  6. If it’s close to the deadline, call your Local Election Office and see if they will let you submit your form via email or fax.
  7. The deadline to apply by mail is: received by October 21, 2020

Apply to vote by mail in person

  1. Visit your Local Election Office.
  2. Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
  3. Fill out all of the required fields.
  4. Sign and date your application.
  5. The deadline to apply in person is: received by October 21, 2020

How to vote by mail

  1. Carefully read and follow the instructions.
  2. Fill out all of the required fields.
  3. Sign and date the outside envelope.
  4. Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your Local Election Office.
  5. Your ballot must be received by the deadline or it will not be counted.

Two important things to note:

  1. The Local Election Office will compare your signature on your voted ballot to the one on your driver’s license and on your voter registration form to make sure they match. So please sign carefully.
  2. The post office will deliver your ballot even if you don’t have a stamp as long as you use the return envelope provided by your state. This envelope will say “official election mail.” The USPS will always deliver official election mail -- no stamp needed.

Questions? Need help?

Contact your local elections office if you have any questions about voting by mail in Missouri.

Statewide election office

Secretary of State
P.O. Box 1767
Jefferson City, MO 65102‐1767