If you're planning to vote an absentee ballot this year and you don't want to wait for the mail, you're in luck.
Missouri lets voters cast absentee ballots in person up to six weeks before Election Day, and this year, that starts Tuesday.
It’s perhaps the easiest way to vote before Nov. 3: there’s no notary or mail involved.
Here’s how to take advantage:
Make sure you’re eligible
You'll need an excuse defined in state law to vote absentee, the first six of which are as follows:You'll be outside the county on Election Day;
You're incapacitated or confined "due to illness or physical disability," or you're primarily responsible for taking care of a person who is;
Your religious belief or practice;
You work as an election authority or as a member of an election authority, or you'll be working for an election authority at a location other than your polling place;
You're incarcerated, provided you remain qualified to vote;
You're a participant in the state's address confidentiality program due to safety concerns.
This year only, there's also a special seventh excuse you can use if 1) you've contracted COVID-19 or 2) you meet at-risk criteria. You’re considered at-risk if:You're 65 or older;
You live in a long-term care facility;
You have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma;
You have serious heart conditions;
You have diabetes;
You have chronic kidney disease and you're undergoing dialysis; or
You have liver disease.
Of course, you may note that some excuses, such as the one requiring incarceration, may actually preclude in-person voting.
If you meet the criteria, you can head to your local election authority’s office between Tuesday and Monday, Nov. 2, and vote just like you would at the polls.
In Phelps County you’ll want to go to the clerk’s office in the Phelps County Courthouse at 200 N. Main St., Suite 102, in Rolla. Hours are 8 a.m.-5p.m. Monday-Friday.
You can look up other local election authorities atwww.sos.mo.gov/elections/govotemissouri/localelectionauthority.
You’ll need proof of identification just like you would need at the polls on Election Day.
Eligible IDs include:Any ID issued by the state or U.S. government, like a driver’s license or U.S. passport;
Any ID issued by a university, college, or vocational and technical school in Missouri; or
A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or another government document with your name and address on it.