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Election Administration in Missouri

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Election Types and Dates

Election Dates

Upcoming Primary Elections

The Presidential Preference Primary is March 15, 2016. The primary election for Congress and state offices is August 2, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Missouri 2016 Election Calendar [link]

Upcoming General Elections

The general municipal election is April 5, 2016. The general election for President, Congress, and state offices is November 8, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Missouri 2016 Election Calendar [link]

How is a nominee determined?

How is a nominee determined (caucus, primary, convention)?

Primary elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-05-18)

Mo. Stat. § 115.339 [link]

Political Party Affiliation

Can voters register by party in the state?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Missouri Voter Registration Application [link]

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: Frequently Asked Questions - Other Voting Questions, Question 6 [link]

Must voters be registered with a political party if they would like to vote on that party’s candidates in a partisan primary election (i.e., are primaries open or closed)?

No, Missouri's primary elections are open to all voters regardless of party.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: Frequently Asked Questions - Other Voting Questions, Question 6 [link]

Voter Registration

Who Can Vote?

What are the state's residency requirements for voters?

A person must reside in Missouri to register to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-06)

Mo. Stat. § 115.133(1) [link]

Can someone pre-register to vote if they will not be 18 years old by the next election? If so, who?

People who are at least 17 1/2 years old may register to vote if they will be 18 by the next election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-05-18)

Mo. Stat. §115.133(1) [link]

Can 17-year-olds who will be 18-year-olds by the general election vote in the primary?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-05-18)

Mo. Stat. §115.133(1) [link]

Does the state take away the right to vote from persons convicted of certain crimes? If so, what crimes?

Yes:

  • Any person convicted of any crime (felony or misdemeanor) loses the right to vote while in prison.
  • Any person convicted of a felony loses the right to vote while on probation or parole.
  • Any person convicted of a misdemeanor or felony connected with the right of suffrage loses the right to vote regardless of whether they are in prison or on probation or parole.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-05-18)

Mo. Stat. §115.133(2) [link]

If people lose the right to vote because of a criminal conviction, can they regain the right to vote? How?

Generally, a person convicted of a misdemeanor automatically regains the right to vote after they are released from prison. A person convicted of a felony automatically regains the right to vote after they are released from prison and complete any required period of probation or parole.

However, a person convicted of a misdemeanor or felony that is connected with the right of suffrage can regain the right to vote only if they receive a pardon from the governor.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-05-18)

Mo. Const. art. IV, § 7 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.133 [link]

Voter Registration Options

Is fully online voter registration available? (i.e., can voters fill in and submit an online application without printing and signing it?)

Yes, but only for people who can physically sign their online application using a touch screen device, such as a cell phone, tablet, or computer that has a touch screen.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Missouri Online Voter Registration Website [link]

Online Voter Registration, National Conference of State Legislatures [link]

Does the state accept the National Mail Registration Form?

Yes. Click here to download the form.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

National Mail Voter Registration Form [link]

Is the state required to register voters at public assistance agencies and driver's license agencies, per the National Voter Registration Act of 1993?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

U.S. Department of Justice website [link]

Student-Specific Rules

Does the state have specific rules on students registering to vote or voting?

A student may register at their address while attending school if they intend live in that community indefinitely and do not intend to return to their previous home. Otherwise, a student may register using the address where they lived before moving to attend school.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Op. Atty. Gen. No. 387, Broomfield, 9-3-71 [link]

Voter Registration Deadlines

When is the voter registration deadline?

5:00 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday before Election Day.

However, if voter registration applications are accepted in a public building that normally remains open until after 5:00 p.m., then voter registration applications must be accepted in that location until the normal closing time of the building, but no later than 10:00 p.m.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.135 [link]

How is the deadline enforced for mailed applications?

Postmark - the application must be postmarked by the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.155 [link]

Voter Registration Drives

Does the state require organizations conducting voter registration drives to register?

No.

Are there restrictions on getting voter registration forms?

A request form must be completed by any person who requests blank voter registration applications from the Secretary of State or an election authority. The requester must include on this form their name, address, and telephone number. Any person or group may use this form to request and receive from any election authority a sufficient number of voter registration applications. Each blank application given to the requester is required to contain a unique identifier.

In addition, any private person group, corporation or other entity desiring to print their own state postcard voter registration applications may do so upon approval of the format by the Secretary of State.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-06)

Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 15, § 30-4.010 [link]

Does the state require any training in order to conduct voter registration drives?

No.

Does the state have restrictions on who may help others register to vote?

Yes. Any person who is paid or otherwise compensated for soliciting more than 10 voter registration applications must register with the Secretary of State as a Voter Registration Solicitor every election cycle, which begins on the day after the general election and ends on the day of the general election two years later. Each Solicitor must provide the following information in writing to the Secretary of State's office: the Solicitor’s name, residence, mailing address, whether they expects to be paid for soliciting voter registration forms, the name of the individual or organization paying them (if they are being paid), and signature. The Secretary of State has made available on its website a Solicitor registration form. A Solicitor must be at least 18 years of age and registered to vote in Missouri. Voter registration applications must still be accepted if they are obtained by an inadequately registered solicitor. Any Solicitor who knowingly fails to register with the Secretary of State is guilty of a Class Three Election Offense.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-06)

Mo. Stat. § 115.205 [link]

Registration Form for Voter Registration Solicitors [link]

Does the state have restrictions on paying drive workers, or additional rules related to payment?

Yes. No person may pay or otherwise compensate any other person for registering voters based on (1) the number of voters registered by the other person, (2) voter registration applications collected by the other person, or (3) voter registration applications submitted to election officials by the other person. No person may receive or accept payment for any other compensation from any other person for registering voters based on (1) the number of voters registered by the person, (2) voter registration applications collected by the person receiving or accepting payment or other compensation, or (3) voter registration applications submitted to election officials by the person receiving or accepting payment or other compensation. A violation of these restrictions is a Class Four Election Offense.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-06)

Mo. Stat. § 115.203 [link]

Are there restrictions on the voter registration drive offering something of value to a person in exchange for completing a voter registration application?

Federal law states that whoever ""pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years."" At least one federal appellate court has interpreted ""payment"" as ""intended to include forms of pecuniary value offered or given directly to an individual voter, and indicated the value should be based on ""an assessment of the monetary worth of an item from the perspective of the voter receiving the item."" That case held that food vouchers could be ""payment.""

Another example is California's Secretary of State's interpretation of the federal law to mean that ""Any type of incentive is considered 'payment,' even things as seemingly innocent as cookies or admission to an entertainment event.""

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-06)

United States v. Garcia, 719 F.2d 99, 102-103 (5th Cir. 1983) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 10307(c) [link]

California Secretary of State's Guide to Voter Registration Drives, p. 11 [link]

Must the registration drive worker sign the completed voter registration application, and must the drive or canvasser place other information on applications?

No.

Does the state have a rule requiring a receipt or other tracking information to be provided to the applicant?

Missouri law does not address this issue.

Are there restrictions on copying completed voter registration applications prior to submitting them to the election official, or other restrictions on data entry or disclosure?

Missouri law does not address identifying marks. However, a person who agrees or offers to submit a voter registration application for another person may not knowingly destroy, deface, or conceal the voter registration application. Violating this restriction is a Class Four Election Offense.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-06)

Mo. Stat. § 115.203 [link]

Is there a time limit for voter registration groups to submit the voter registration applications they collect?

Yes. Any person who accepts or receives a voter registration application from another person and agrees or offers to submit the application to the election authority for the applicant must deliver it to the election authority within 7 days of accepting or receiving it.

In addition, state postcard application forms must be delivered to the appropriate election authority representing the area in which the applicant resides.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-06)

Mo. Stat. § 115.203(4) [link]

Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 15, § 30-4.010 [link]

What are the consequences for failing to submit applications on time?

Violation of the time limit is a Class Four Election Offense, which is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in prison, a maximum fine of $2,500, or both.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-06)

Mo. Stat. § 115.203(5) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.637 [link]

Same-Day Registration

Can voters register and vote on the same day (i.e., does the state offer same-day registration)?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.135(1) [link]

Voters Who Have Moved or Changed Their Name

Can people vote if they moved, but did not update their voter registration with their new address?

If a registered voter moved to a new address within the same election authority's jurisdiction at any time, but the voter did not update their registration record with their new address before the voter registration deadline, then the voter may still update their registration record at the polls on Election Day. To do so, the voter must vote at the polling place assigned to their new address or at a central polling place in the jurisdiction.

If a registered voter movef to a new address within a different election authority's jurisdiction, and the voter did not update their registration record with their new address before the voter registration deadline, different rules apply depending on when the voter moved:

  • If the voter moved before the voter registration deadline, then they cannot vote; these voters are required to update their registerion record with their new address before the voter registration deadline.
  • If the voter moved after the voter registration deadline, then the voter may vote using an absentee ballot, but they may vote only for federal and state offices and ballot questions (not in any local elections).
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.275(4) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.277(4) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.165(2) [link]

Can people vote if they have changed their name, but did not update their voter registration with their new name?

Yes. A registered voter may, after notifying election judges of their name change, vote using their previous name and update their voter registration record with their new name at the polls on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.167 [link]

Language, Literacy, and Disability Access

Language and Literacy Access

Does the state have any places that must provide election materials in languages other than English, per Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Voting Rights Act Amendments of 2006, Determinations Under Section 203, 76 Fed. Reg. 63602 (Oct. 13, 2011) [link]

Does the state have any other rules about providing election materials in languages other than English?

The Secretary of State may choose to develop multilingual sample ballots and voting instructions.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.417(3) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.419 [link]

Who can help a voter with reading assistance or translation if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to an inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under state law, if a person cannot read or write, the person can be assisted by two election judges of different political parties or by any one person of the voter's choice who is not an election judge. Except for election judges, a person can assist only one voter per election, except that a person can assist an unlimited number of voters who are in the person's immediately family. If a person assists a voter who is voting an absentee ballot, the person providing assistance must identify themselves in the appropriate location on the absentee ballot envelope

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.283(1) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.291(1) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.445(2) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

Disability Access

Who can help a voter with a disability if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to due to blindness or disability may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under state law, if a person cannot read or write, the person can be assisted by two election judges of different political parties or by any one person of the voter's choice. Except for election judges, a person can assist only one voter per election, except that a person can assist an unlimited number of voters who are in the person's immediately family. If a person assists a voter who is voting an absentee ballot, the person providing assistance must identify themselves in the appropriate location on the absentee ballot envelope.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.283(1) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.291(1) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.445(2) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

Does the state have other rules related to access for persons with disabilities?

Missouri has ""curbside voting."" If a voter has a physical disability that prevents them from entering a polling place, then two election judges--one from each major political party--may take a paper or absentee ballot to a voter who is within 200 feet of a polling place, such as in their car. The election judges will allow the voter to mark the ballot and then return the ballot to the polling place.

Additionally, a person with a physical disability may request that their local election authority assign them, their caregiver, and people who live with them to a different polling place, so long as that polling place's ballot contains the candidates and ballot questions that the voter is eligible to vote on.

People with an illness or physical disability that prevents them from voting at the polls are also eligible to vote an absentee ballot. People who cannot vote the polls because they are caring for someone with an illness or physical disability also can vote an absentee ballot. These voters are exempt from the requirement that their absentee ballot affidavit be sworn to and signed by an election official or notary.

Additionally, if a person has a permanent physical disability, they may apply to automatically receive absentee ballots in all future elections. If a person moves to a new address, they must reapply to automatically receive absentee ballots.

At least one-half of all voter registration locations offered by an election authority must be accessible to people with disabilities and offer interpreter services for people who have a hearing impairment.

A person cannot vote if they have been adjudged incapacitated, involuntarily confined to a mental institution by a court, or been placed by a court under guardianship for mental incapacity.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.277(1)(2) (absentee ballot eligibility) [link]

Mo. Const. art. VIII, § 2 (incapacitated) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.436 (curbside voting and polling places) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.140 (voter registration site accessibility) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.159(3)(3)(b) (first-time voter exemption) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.133(2) (incapacitated) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.291(1) (notarization exemption) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.284 (permanent physical disabilities) [link]

Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Other Ways to Vote

Vote-by-Mail

Does the state provide mail ballots to all voters without a request?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-05-16)

Mo. Stat. § 115.277 [link]

Early Voting/Absentee In-Person Voting

Does the state have early voting/absentee in-person voting?

Voters have no right to early voting or in-person absentee voting in Missouri. A voter who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot may apply for one in person at the local election authority's office, and similarly, a voter may cast their absentee ballot itself in person at the office. However, after receiving an an absentee ballot application, the election authority has up to 3 working days to deliver the voter an absentee ballot, and the election authority may choose whether to send the voter the ballot by mail or give it to the voter in their office at the time the voter applies. Thus, absentee in-person voting is only available if (1) a voter eligible to vote absentee applies for an absentee ballot in person at the election authority's office, and (2) the election authority then chooses to immediately give the voter their absentee ballot in the office.

(For further details on absentee voting, including eligibility requirements, see the Absentee Voting by Mail section below.)

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.287(1) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.279(1) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.291(1) [link]

Absentee Voting by Mail

Can anyone vote absentee by mail without an excuse? If not, what excuses allow a voter to vote absentee by mail?

No. A voter may vote using an absentee ballot only if they cannot vote at the polling place on Election Day because of one of the following reasoins:

  • The voter will be away from their county on Election Day.
  • The voter has an illness or physical disability, or the voter is providing care to someone who has an illness or physical disability
  • The voter's religious belief or practice.
  • The voter is in jail but has not lost the right to vote due to a conviction
  • The voter participates in Missouri's address confidentiality program
  • The voter is employed as an election authority, as a member of an election authority, or by an election authority at a location other than the voter's own polling place.

Additionally, the following voters are also eligible to vote an absentee ballot:

  • A registered voter in Missouri who moves to a new address that is within a different election authority's jurisdiction, so long as the voter moved after the voter registration deadline. The voter may use an absentee ballot to vote only on federal and statewide offices and ballot questions (not in local elections).
  • A new resident who moved to Missouri after the voter registration deadline. The voter may use an absentee ballot to vote only for President and Vice President.
  • A registered voter in Missouri who moved to a new address that is in a different state. The voter may use an absentee ballot to only for President and Vice President.
  • Military and overseas voters (see section below on Military and Overseas Voting)
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.275 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.277 [link]

Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail

For most voters, the following deadlines apply:

  • If an absentee ballot application is submitted by mail or fax, or if it is submitted in person by the voter's guardian or a relative, the application must be received at the local election authority's office by 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before Election Day.
  • If the voter themself submits the application in person at the local election authority's office, the application must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the day before Election Day.

However, different deadlines apply to voters who are applying for an absentee ballot because they moved to a new address:

  • For registered voters in Missouri who moved to a new address within a different election authority's jurisdiction after the voter registration deadline, the absentee ballot application must be submitted by the voter themself in person at the local election authority's office no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
  • For new residents who moved to Missouri after the voter registration deadline, the absentee ballot application must be submitted in person by the voter themself no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
  • For registered voters in Missouri who moved to a new address in a different state, the absentee ballot application must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before Election Day if the application was submitted by mail or fax, or if it was submitted in person by the voter's guardian or relative. If the voter themself submiteds the application in person, then the application must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.275 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.279 [link]

How does a voter apply for an absentee mail ballot?

Voters must submit to their local election authority an absentee ballot application. The application can be downloaded by clicking here and is available at local election authority offices.

Additionally, voters who have a permanent physical disability may apply to automatically receive absentee ballots in all future elections. A different application process is required, and voters should contact their local election authority to apply.

Most voters may submit their application by mail, by fax (if the election authority's office has a working fax machine), or in person at the local election authority's office. Most voters may also give their application to a guardian or relative, who must then deliver the application to the local election authority's office in person on the voter's behalf.

However, the following voters may apply for an absentee ballot only by personally going to the local election authority's office to apply (mail, fax, or delivery by a guardian or relative is not allowed):

  • Registered voters in Missouri who moved to a new address within a different election authority's jurisdiction after the voter registration deadline
  • New residents who moved to Missouri after the voter registration deadline
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.284 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.275 [link]

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: How to Vote § Absentee Voting [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.279 [link]

Can a voter make an online request for an absentee mail ballot?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.279 [link]

Does a voter need to submit any supporting documentation or verification with an absentee mail ballot or absentee mail ballot application? If so, what is required?

An absentee ballot is sent with an affidavit that must be signed by the voter and notarized by the election official receiving the ballot, a notary public, or another officer authorized by law to administer oaths.

However, this requirement does not apply to the following voters:

  • Military and overseas voters
  • Voters who have a permanent physical disability
  • Voters caring for a person who has a permanent physical disability.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: How to Vote § Absentee Voting [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.290 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.291(1) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may request or turn in an absentee mail ballot application for a voter?

Yes, an absentee ballot application can be submitted only by the voter themself, by the voter's guardian, or by one of the following relatives of the voter: parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, child-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, spouse's grandparent, spouse's grandchild, grandparent's spouse, and grandchild's spouse.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Degree of Consanguinity or Affinity [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.279 [link]

Deadline to return absentee ballots

The absentee ballot must be received by the election authority no later than the time the polls close on Election Day. Ballots may be returned by mail, by personal delivery by the voter, or by a relative of the voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.293 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.291(2) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may return a voter's absentee mail ballot for them?

Yes, an absentee ballot may be returned only by the voter themself, a team of election deputy election authorities, or one of the following relatives of the voter: parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, child-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, spouse's grandparent, spouse's grandchild, grandparent's spouse, and grandchild's spouse.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Degree of Consanguinity or Affinity [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.291(2) [link]

Are there any special emergency rules that allow a voter to vote absentee by mail if they are unable to make it to the polls at the last minute?

Yes. If, after the absentee ballot application deadline, any voter becomes hospitalized, becomes confined due to illness or injury, or is confined in an adult boarding facility, intermediate care facility, residential care facility, or skilled nursing facility in the county where they are registered, the election authority will appoint a team of election officials to deliver, witness the signing of, and return the voter's absentee ballot application and deliver, witness the voting of, and return the voter's absentee ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.287(2) [link]

Are lists of people who vote absentee by mail published? How?

Local election authorities keep lists of absentee voters. The only people who may view these lists are voters who have applied for an absentee ballot, candidates, representatives of a campaign committee, and people who have written authorization from a candidate.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.289(2) [link]

Are lists of people who vote absentee by mail published? How?

Local election officials keep lists of absentee voters. Candidates may obtain these lists by contacting the local election official.

Absentee Voting for Military and Overseas Voters

Who is eligible for military/overseas absentee voting?

The following voters may vote using a military/overseas absentee ballot, even if they are not registered to vote in Missouri:

  • Members of the armed forces of the United States, while in active service, and their spouses and dependents
  • Members of the Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, and their spouses and dependents
  • Members on activated status of the National Guard, and their spouses and dependents
  • Civilian employees of the U.S. government working outside the boundaries of the United States, and their spouses and dependents
  • Active members of religious or welfare organizations assisting servicemen, and their spouses and dependents
  • Persons who have been honorably discharged from the armed services within 60 days of an election, and their spouses and dependents
  • A person who lives outside the United States and is qualified to vote in the last place in which the person lived before leaving the United States
  • A person who lives outside the United States and would be qualified to vote in the last place in which the person lived before leaving the United States
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.275 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.902 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.277(2) [link]

How do voters apply for a military/overseas ballot?

Military and overseas voters may use the regular absentee ballot process (see previous section on Absentee Voting by Mail for further information), they may apply using a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA), or they may apply online using Missouri's Military and Overseas Voting Access Portal. The federal postcard application also functions as a voter registration application if the voter is not registered.

Additionally, a military/overseas voter can submit a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) to simultaneously vote for federal offices and, if it is received by the election authority no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before Election Day, to simultaneously register to vote and apply for a full military/overseas absentee ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.910(4) [link]

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: Military and Overseas Voting [link]

Missouri's Military and Overseas Voting Access Portal [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.277(2) [link]

Deadline to apply for a military/overseas ballot

5:00 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day.

However, if the voter is submitting a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) to simultaneously vote for federal offices and apply for a full military/overseas absentee ballot, then the FWAB must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.910(4) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.912 [link]

Deadline to return the military/overseas ballot

The ballot must be received by the time the polls close on Election Day OR submitted through an approved method of delivery (usually by mail) no later than 12:01 a.m. on Election Day.

The ballot may be returned by mail or in person at the local election authority's office, either by the voter themself or by the voter's parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, child-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, spouse's grandparent, spouse's grandchild, grandparent's spouse, and grandchild's spouse.

Voters who are in hostile zones, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, or Kosovo, may also return their ballot by fax or e-mail.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.293 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.916 [link]

Missouri's Military and Overseas Voting Access Portal FAQ [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.291(2) [link]

Who is eligible to use a write-in absentee ballot? How does it work?

Military and overseas voters can use the federal write-in absentee ballot (FWAB) to vote for federal candidates. If the FWAB is received by 5:00 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday before Election Day, the FWAB can also serve as a voter registration application. If the FWAB is received by 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before Election Dya, the FWAB may also serve as an application to receive a full military/overseas absentee ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.910 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.910 [link]

On Election Day

Where do you vote in person?

Where do you vote in person?

At the polling place assigned to the voter's precinct, or at a central polling place in the election authority's jurisdiction if the voter has a physical disability, is elderly, or is otherwise allowed to vote a central polling place. Each election authority must establish at least one but no more than five central polling places.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-05-17)

Mo. Stat. § 115.115 [link]

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

6:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Any person waiting in line at 7:00 p.m. to vote must be allowed to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.407 [link]

In the Voting Booth

Can a voter bring children into the voting booth with them?

A child younger than 18 years old may accompany their parent, grandparent, or guardian into the voting booth.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.445(4) [link]

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Yes. An employee who does not have three consecutive hours off on Election Day during the time the polls are open has the right to leave work for 3 hours vote. The voter must have notified their employer of their intention to take time off from work to vote before Election Day, and the employer may specify which 3 consecutive hours during the time the polls are open that the voter may take off. The employer cannot penalize or refuse to pay a voter who takes this time off to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.639(1) [link]

Campaigning, Electioneering, and Recording Devices

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering on Election Day?

Campaigning, distributing election literature, posting signs, parking vehicles with signs, surveying, exit polling, and sampling are prohibited inside of a polling place's building and within 25 feet of the building's closest entrance.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.637(18) [link]

Can a voter wear a button or t-shirt with a candidate's name or logo on it into the polling place when they vote?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.637(18) [link]

*NEW 1** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) inside the polling place or voting booth?

Yes, digital devices are allowed. However, the law prohibits voters from allowing their ballot to be seen by anyone with the intent of letting that person know how they are about to vote or have voted.

Source (confirmed on: 10/14/2016)

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.637(14) [link]

*NEW 2** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) outside the polling place but within the zone around the polling place where campaigning/electioneering is banned?

State law does not separately address this issue (see previous question).

Who's at the Polls?

Can persons other than election workers observe inside the polls?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.107 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.105 [link]

What are observers inside the polls called in the state?

Challengers and watchers.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.107 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.105 [link]

Does the state establish requirements to observe inside the polls?

The chair of each county political party that has a candidate on the ballot may appoint one ""challenger"" per polling place to observe the voting process, one ""challenger"" per absentee voting location to observe the absentee ballot counting process, and one ""watcher"" per location where election-day-ballots are counted to observe the ballot counting process.

No later than four business days before Election Day, the political party chair must give the election authority signed forms that include the names of any challengers (but not watchers) and any substitute challengers they wish to appoint. The election authority will review the forms to ensure that the named challengers and substitute challengers are eligible; if any named challenger or substitute challenger is deemed ineligible, the chair will have until 5:00 p.m. on the Monday before Election Day to appoint a replacement.

To be eligible, challengers and watchers must be registered voters in the election authority's jurisdiction where they are serving; be able to speak, read, and write English; and cannot be an immediate famly member of a candidate who is on the ballot where they are serving, unless that candidate is running unopposed. Additionally, challengers and watchers cannot hold any elective public office, other than as a member of a political party committee or township office, and also except that any person who is elected to a board or commission of a political subdivision or special district may serve as an election judge at any polling place where such political subdivision or special district does not have an issue or candidate on the ballot. Challengers and watchers also cannot be candidates, except that in any county having a population of less than 250,000 inhabitants, any candidate for the county committee of a political party who is not a candidate for any other office and who is running unopposed may serve as a challenger or watcher.

If a challenger leaves the polling place, an appointed substitute challenger can take their place. No substitute watchers are allowed.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.107 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.085 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.105 [link]

*NEW 3* Can a poll observer use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) in the polling place?

State law does not address this issue. Local practices may vary.

Are there other rules on what poll observers can or cannot do?

Challengers can observe the voting process and challenge any person's right to vote by bringing the challenge before the election judges. If the challenger is not satisfied with the election judges' decision, they may appeal it to the local election authority. Before the polls close, challengers may also list and give out the names of people who have voted. In presidential primary elections, challengers may collect information about the party ballot selected by each voter and may disclose party affiliation information after the polls close.

Watchers may observe the ballot counting process. Watchers may also report election irregularities to election judges, and if they are not satisfied with th election judges' decision, they may appeal it to the local election authority. Watchers cannot disclose the name of any person who voted or did not vote.

Watchers and challengers cannot interfere with the orderly process of voting or violate any election law.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.107 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.105 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.111 [link]

Provisional Voting and Voters at the Wrong Polling Place

When should a voter be offered a provisional ballot?

Under Section 203 of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, if a person claims to be a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the person desires to vote and the person claims to be eligible to vote in a federal election, but the person’s name does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the person is not eligible to vote, then that person must be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place. The person may cast the provisional ballot after executing, before an election official at the polling place, a written affirmation stating that the person is (1) a registered voter in the jurisdiction, and (2) eligible to vote in that election.

Additionally, any person who votes in a federal election as a result of a federal or state court order, or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a state law in effect 10 days before the date of that election, may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot. Any such ballot cast must be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast for different reasons.

Under state law, a voter may be given a provisional ballot because the voter's eligibility cannot be verified at the polling place or if the voter is casting a ballot during a court-ordered extension of the election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

52 U.S.C. § 21082 (federal law) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.430 [link]

If a voter casts a provisional ballot at the wrong precinct, will the ballot be counted?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.430(2)(1) [link]

Finding out if a provisional ballot was counted

When a voter casts a provisional ballot, the election authority must inform the voter in writing of how they may learn whether their provisional ballot was counted and, if not, the reason why it was not counted.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.430(13) [link]

Ballot Shortages/Voting Machine Malfunctions

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a polling place runs out of printed ballots? Are handwritten/photocopied ballots allowed?

Voters must use ballots that have been printed and provided to their polling place by the local election authority. Thus, if a polling place runs out of ballots, the election authority must deliver additional printed ballots for voters to use.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.247 [link]

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a voting machine breaks or malfunctions?

If a voting machine breaks, the election judges must notify the election authority, who will attempt to repair or replace the machine. If the machine cannot be repaired or replaced, paper ballots that are made to appear as nearly as practicable to the official ballot may be used.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.265 [link]

Voter ID and Challenges

Voter ID

Who must show ID to vote?

All voters.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: How to Vote [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.427 [link]

What ID is acceptable?

The following forms of ID are acceptable:

  • An ID issued by the federal government, Missouri state government, or a local government in Missouri
  • A student ID issued by a Missouri institution of higher education (public or private), including universities, colleges, vocational and technical schools
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter
  • A driver's license or state ID card issued by another state

(Note: Although Mo. Stat. 115.427 says that voters must show a photo ID instead of the above forms of ID, this law was held unconstitutional, with a previous version of the law being restored.)

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: How to Vote [link]

Weinschenk v. State, 203 S.W.3d 201, 203 (Mo. 2006) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.427 [link]

Is a student ID an acceptable form of identification?

Yes, an ID issued by a public or private insitutiton of higher education in Missouri (a university, college, vocational school or technical school) is an acceptable form of ID.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: How to Vote [link]

Does the address on the ID have to match the address at which the voter is registered?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: How to Vote [link]

If a voter has no ID, are there alternatives such as an oath or witness?

Yes. If two supervising election judges (one from each major political party) attest that they know the voter, the voter will be allowed to vote a regular ballot. Otherwise, if a voter does not have ID, they can vote a provisional ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: How to Vote [link]

Do elections without federal offices on the ballot (such as off-year gubernatorial elections) have different ID requirements?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: How to Vote [link]

Challenges to Voters at the Polling Place

Who can challenge a voter at the polling place?

Challenges can be made by any registered voter, any election official, or a party's appointed challenger (see the section above on "Who's at the Polls?" for further information on challengers.)

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.105 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.429 [link]

What are the allowed reasons on which a voter can be challenged at the polling place?

A person can be challenged based on their identity or qualifications to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.429 [link]

Is there a requirement for the challenger to provide cause or evidence?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. §115.429 [link]

How does a voter defend their eligibility to vote if they are challenged?

Election judges may require that a voter sign a document swearing under oath that they are eligible to vote. The election judges of the major political parties decide by a majority vote whether the voter is eligible. If the election judges decide the voter is ineligible, then they will not allow the voter to cast a regular ballot, and the voter may only cast a provisional ballot. The voter can appeal this decision to the local election authority or to the circuit court. If election judges cannot decide whether a voter is eligible or not, then the decision will be made by the local election authority, and the voter may appeal that decision to the circuit court.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.429 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.430 [link]

What are the restrictions on polling place challenges?

Challenges are allowed at the polling place on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.105 [link]

Mo. Stat. §115.429 [link]

State and Local Election Officials

The State Election Authority

Who/what is the state election authority?

Secretary of State

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.136 [link]

Current official

Jason Kander

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State Biography [link]

E-mail

elections@sos.mo.gov

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: Office Contacts [link]

Phone

(573) 751-2301 or toll free (800) 669-8683

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: Office Contacts [link]

Address

Physical Address

600 West Main Street

P.O. Box 1767

Jefferson City, MO 65102

Mailing Address

Elections

James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center

PO Box 1767

Jefferson City, MO 65102-1767

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: Office Contacts [link]

Local Election Authorities

What local election official(s) are in charge of major state-level elections (such as the even-year November general elections)?

The local election authority. In most counties and cities, the election authority is the county clerk. However, in the following counties and cities, a board of election commissioners is the election authority:

  • A county that has over 9000 residents
  • A city that is not situated inside of a county
  • A city that has over 3000 residents and is situated in more than one county
  • A first class county that contains any part of a city that has over 3000 residents
  • A first class county that adopts a board of election commissioners
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.015 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.017 [link]

What is the county-level election official?

The local election authority. In most counties, the election authority is the county clerk. However, in the following counties a board of election commissioners is the election authority:

  • A county that has over 9000 residents
  • A first class county that contains any part of a city that has over 3000 residents
  • A first class county that adopts a board of election commissioners
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.015 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.017 [link]

What is the municipal-level election official?

For most cities, the local election authority is the county clerk or the board of election commissioners for the county. However, the following cities have their own boards of election commissioners:

  • A city that has over 3000 residents and is situated in more than one county
  • A city that is not situated in any county
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.015 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.021 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.017 [link]

Contact information for local election authorities

Click here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Sec. of State's Website: Local Election Authorities [link]

The Voter File

Voter File Basics

National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Disclosure Law

Section 8 of the federal NVRA requires that each State maintain for at least 2 years and make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters, except to the extent that such records contain information about a person declining to register to vote or information about the identity of a voter registration agency through which a particular voter might have chosen to register.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

52 U.S.C. § 20507 [link]

Acquiring a Voter File

Under state procedure, who may acquire a voter file?

Any person.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 610.023(2) [link]

Mo. Stat. § 115.157 [link]

Who is the state-level contact for acquiring a voter file?

Secretary of State

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.157 [link]

How much does the state charge for the file?

For a paper copy, the fee is no more than 10 cents per page plus an hourly rate for the time spent making paper copies not to exceed the average hourly rate of the agency's clerical employees. For an electronic copy, the fee is no more than the cost of the electronic medium it is provided on plus staff time for making the copy not to exceed the average hourly rate of the agency's employees responsible for making electronic copies.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.157 [link]

Mo. Stat. § 610.026 [link]

Use of the Voter File

Does the state have restrictions on commercial use of the voter file?

People cannot use information from the voter file for commercial purposes, which includes using the information for:

  • The purpose of sale or resale,
  • The purpose of producing another document containing all or part of information for sale,
  • The purpose of solicitation
  • The purpose selling names and addresses to another for the purpose of solicitation, or
  • For any purpose in which the purchaser can reasonably anticipate the receipt of monetary gain from the direct or indirect use of the information.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-06-01)

Mo. Stat. § 115.158 [link]