The deadline for voter registration is fast approaching and this year voting will look a little different because of COVID-19.
Those interested in voting in the 2020 general election have a few voting options.
In order to file an absentee vote, residents have to meet one of the seven qualifications on the absentee ballot request application:
Absent from Greene County on Election day
Confinement or inability to travel due to illness or disability
Religious beliefs or practices
Employed as an election authority
Incarcerated but still have voting rights
Certified participation in the address confidentiality program
For an election that occurs during the year 2020, the voter has contracted or is in an at-risk category for contracting or transmitting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. At-risk category includes: 65 years of age or older; have serious heart conditions; are immunocompromised; have liver disease; live in a long-term care facility
Absentee voters mail their ballots into the county clerk’s office. If someone falls under qualifications two or seven, their ballot does not need to be signed by a notary.
A notary is someone who has the legal authority to say a document is true or signed properly, according to Cambridge Dictionary.
Most banks and UPS stores have notaries who will be able to sign ballots.
Absentee ballots must be sent by mail to the clerk’s office, but the requests can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In June, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill allowing Missouri residents to mail-in ballots for the 2020 general election to minimize residents’ risk of contracting COVID-19, according to the Missouri Secretary of State website.
Every registered voter can request a mail-in voting ballot, but these ballots can’t be emailed or faxed to the clerk’s office. The mail-in ballot request application requires first time voters to show proof of a valid ID or utility bill.
The mail-in ballot can be submitted in-person or by mail and must be notarized.
Polling locations will be open for the Nov. 3 general election. Poll workers have been encouraged to enforce masking and social distancing during the voting process by the June Center for Disease and Control voting guidelines.
The Greene County Clerk’s Office processes voter registration applications by matching and verifying an applicant with information logged with the Social Security Office, the Missouri Department of Revenue and the Department of Health and Senior Services.
“This process helps to filter out applicants that are not eligible to vote and to address other errors in registrations that can cause voters to experience unnecessary confusion or complication on election day,” the press release said.
Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller said he urges voters to carefully review any information not obtained from the Clerk’s Office about Missouri voting registration.
“I strongly encourage those wishing to register that are eligible to vote to fill out the applications with the help of our deputy registrars at locations throughout Greene County,” Schoeller said.
The last day to register to vote is Oct. 7.
Any resident registered to vote in Greene County can vote at any of these central polling locations, according to the American Democracy Project initiative at Missouri State:
- CU Transit Center at 211 N. Main Ave.
- Cox South Hospital at 380 S. National Ave.
- Mercy Hospital at 1235 E. Cherokee St.
- JQH Arena at 685 S. John Q Hammons Parkway
Missouri residents can register to vote on the Missouri Secretary of State website.
Voters with questions about registration or voting in Greene County can contact the clerk’s office by phone at (417) 868-4060.