It is crucial that you know your rights when voting. Here are some common questions that the ACLU of Missouri has received from voters and can help you clear up any confusion you had about voting this year in Missouri.
Can I return my mail-in ballot to my county clerk?
No. Unlike most states there is a difference between a mail-in ballot and an absentee ballot in Missouri. Mail-in ballots must be returned by the U.S. Postal Service. If you have not mailed your mail-in ballot yet, it is too late for it to make it by Election Day. You can forfeit your mail-in ballot and vote in person. Bring your ballot to your polling place and forfeit that ballot, then vote in person to ensure your vote counts! Wear a mask, social distance, and bring hand sanitizer!
Do I need ID to vote in Missouri?
You will be asked to show an ID. That ID can be a state or federal ID, a Missouri college ID, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that contains your name and address. You do not need a photo ID.
I was just exposed to COVID-19 and am uncomfortable voting in person. What can I do?
Up until Election Day, you can vote in-person absentee. If you requested an absentee ballot, you or a family member can drop it off anytime before polls close on Election Day. If you are quarantining on Election Day, you should call your county clerk, and they should provide information on how you can still cast your ballot that day. It will differ from county to county.
I’m hearing reports of long lines. What if the polls close while I’m still in line?
You can still vote! Get in line and stay in line. Don’t leave.
What do I do if I have problems voting? What if I see voter intimidation?
If you or someone you know faces problems voting, call the Missouri Voter Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) to speak with an attorney in Missouri. This group has been combating voter suppression in our state for over a decade. They are prepared for any scenario.
When will I know who won?
It is quite possible that we will not know the results on the night of the election. Missouri can’t even begin to count absentee and mail-in ballots until Election Day. This year, 646,279 Missourians requested mail-in or absentee ballots. This is going to take time to work through. Every vote must be counted, and it will take time in this unprecedented election.
Now get out and vote Missouri!
Sara Baker is the legislative and policy director for the ACLU of Missouri. She is responsible for working with elected officials and community organizations on issues related to the rights of all Missourians.