FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS





1. I received my absentee ballot by mail as I requested, but my plans have changed and I will be here on Election Day and I want to vote at my polling place. What should I do with my absentee ballot?

Contact your local election authority for further instructions.

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2. What should I do about my registration if I move, or change my name?

In order to change your name in the voter registration lists, you need to contact the election authority before the election or an election judge at your polling place and notify them of the change. The election authority will enter the change on the record and issue new voter identification cards. Voters are allowed to vote at one election under the old name without changing their voter registration after notifying the election judges of the name change.

In order to find out how you can update your registration to vote because of change of name or change of address, visit our register to vote page.

If you have moved to a different address within the same county, you are permitted to change your registration address on Election Day at your new polling place or the central polling location. It is recommended that you contact your local election official with any address changes prior to Election Day in order to determine your assigned polling place.

In order to change your address if you move outside the boundaries of the election jurisdiction in which you were previously registered, you will need to fill out a new voter registration application.

If you moved before the deadline to register for an election, you must complete your new registration prior to the registration deadline in order to be eligible to vote a full ballot in your new jurisdiction. If you moved after the registration deadline, you will be entitled to vote a limited ballot, containing only federal and statewide candidates and issues once you submit a completed voter registration application in person with the local election authority. People moving from one election jurisdiction to another prior to the registration deadline who fail to register to vote by the registration deadline will not be able to vote in that particular election.

If you moved to Missouri after the deadline to register for a presidential election, you are entitled to register and vote only a presidential and vice presidential ballot in your new jurisdiction.

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3. I will be out of town on Election Day. How will I vote?

If you are going to be unable to vote on Election Day due to:

  1. Absence from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which you are registered to vote,
  2. Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including primary caregivers
  3. Religious belief or practice,
  4. Employment as an election authority, as a member of an election authority, or by an election authority at a location other than your polling place, and
  5. Incarceration, provided all qualifications for voting are retained, then you are eligible to vote by absentee ballot.

The absentee voting period begins on the sixth Tuesday before the date of the election. All requests for an absentee ballot should be submitted by the day before the election if voting in person, or by 5:00 p.m. the Wednesday immediately before the election if requesting a ballot by mail. The election authority must receive all absentee ballots by the close of polls on Election Day in order to be counted.

You can apply for an absentee ballot PDF file in person, by mail, by fax, or a guardian or close relative (parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, grandparents, as well as these relationships through marriage) may request in person an absentee ballot for you. Each application should be made to the election authority of the jurisdiction in which you are registered.

The application needs to be in writing and needs to give the following information:

  1. name;
  2. voter registration address;
  3. reason for voting absentee; and
  4. the address to which the ballot is to be mailed, if requested; and
  5. which party's ballot is requested, if a primary election.

For more details or to answer specific questions on absentee voting contact your local election authority or contact the Secretary of State's Election Division at (800) NOW-VOTE or elections@sos.mo.gov.

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4. What happens if I go to my polling place on Election Day and my name is not in the poll book?

If your name does not appear on the poll book and you are eligible to vote at that precinct, you may be entitled to vote a provisional ballot. Every effort will be made to determine your eligibility and your correct polling place so that you can cast a regular ballot. If it can be determined that you are at the wrong polling place, you will be directed to the correct or central polling place to cast a regular ballot.

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5. If I registered to vote by mail, how do I know my registration has been received and processed?

If you have not received a verification notice within seven to ten days, you should contact your local election authority to verify that your mail-in registration was received and processed.

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6. What kind of primary election does Missouri have?

Missouri has what is known as an "open" primary. In an open primary, voters may take a ballot for any party and vote for those candidates. Missouri does not require voters to "affiliate" with any political party when they register.

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