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Absentee voting in Missouri and Kansas to begin

This is expected to be one of the biggest midterm elections in terms of voter participation. That includes Kansas and Missouri where absentee voting is set to begin this month.

But before you vote you must be registered. The registration deadline in Kansas is October 18 and you can do so online.

The deadline to register in Missouri is October 12. You can also register online.

Absentee requirements and dates are different for each state and there’s been some changes from previous years.

Missouri Absentee Voting

A change to Missouri election law gives registered voters the option of no-excuse absentee voting from October 25 to November 7. In the meantime, traditional absentee voting is now available.

According to the secretary of state’s website, absentee voters must provide one of the following reasons:

  • Absence on Election Day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which such voter is registered to vote;
  • Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability on Election
    Day, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability and resides at the same address;
  • Religious belief or practice;
  • Employment as an election authority or by an election authority at a location other than such voter’s polling place, a first responder, a health-care worker or a member of law enforcement;
  • Incarceration, provided all qualifications for voting are retained; or
  • Certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under sections 589.660 to 589.681 because of safety concerns.

Voters requesting an absentee ballot by mail who have registered by mail and have not voted in person are required to submit a copy of their personal identification unless they provided a copy with their registration application. Examples of acceptable identification are:

  • A nonexpired Missouri driver or non-driver license;
  • A nonexpired military ID, including a veteran’s ID card;
  • A nonexpired U.S. passport; or
  • Another photo ID issued by the United States or the state of Missouri that either is not expired or expired after the date of the most recent general election.

When voting an absentee ballot in person, voters must show an acceptable form of photo ID. In-person absentee voters are not eligible for a provisional ballot.

Kansas Absentee Voting

Kansas voters can vote by mail before an election but it must be post-marked on or before election day. This has caused some controversy because ballots received by the county election office by the following Friday can still be counted. You must complete an application for an advance ballot and include your driver’s license number or a copy of your photo identification. The deadline to submit advance voting applications is October 19 for the 2022 general election.

  • Kansas does not require a reason for early or absentee voting.

To vote at a polling place, either on or before Election Day, you can expect to do the following:

  • State your legal name
  • Provide photographic identification
  • State your address
  • Sign the poll book
  • Receive your ballot and proceed to a voting booth OR proceed to an electronic voting machine
  • Review the ballot, paying close attention to instructions, then make your selection(s)
  • Review your ballot to make sure it is complete and accurate
  • Cast your ballot
  • Exit the polling place (don’t forget your sticker)
  • For both states, voters can request absentee ballots from their local election authority in person, by mail, by fax or by e-mail. Relatives within the second degree (spouse, parents and children) may complete an absentee ballot application, in person, on behalf of the voter who wishes to vote absentee.

State law requires voters to show photographic identification when casting a vote in person. If the photo ID has an expiration date on it, the ID must not have expired at the time of voting. An acceptable photo ID does not have to have an expiration date on the document in order to be valid. Acceptable forms of photo ID include:

  • A driver’s license or nondriver’s identification card issued by Kansas or by another state or district of the United States;
  • A concealed carry of handgun license issued by Kansas or a concealed carry of handgun or weapon license issued by another state or district of the United States;
  • A United States passport;
  • An employee badge or identification document issued by a municipal, county, state, or federal government office;
  • A military identification document issued by the United States;
  • A student identification card issued by an accredited postsecondary institution of education in the state of Kansas;
  • A public assistance identification card issued by a municipal, county, state or federal government office; and
  • An identification card issued by an Indian tribe

Mail-in or faxed absentee ballot requests must be received by the election authority no later than the 5 p.m. on the second Wednesday before the election. Voters can vote by absentee in the office of the local election authority until 5 p.m. the night before the election.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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