Lake guide to voting in the November election

Lake Sun Leader

With the November election inching ever closer, many residents have already reached out to their local county clerk for ballot information. Camden County Clerk Rowland Todd says the county has already received over a thousand requests. Ballots will officially be available for residents starting September 22 in all three lake counties. For those eager to cast your vote, here is the guide to your options this fall. 

Absentee: Absentee voting looks to be the most popular choice for voters in 2020. Whether you send your absentee ballot through the mail or turn it in in-person, this option gives flexibility to voters who may not be comfortable with voting in person. Anyone can send in an absentee ballot request and receive one. The new reason most are submitting for their ballot is COVID-19, which can be used as a valid reason to vote this way. Of course, other valid reasons such as being out of the area on election day may also be used. 

Absentee ballots do not need to be notarized. Once completed, they may be mailed in or brought in-person to your county office to be submitted. This is the best option for those who want to drop-in their vote personally without being present on election day. 

All county clerks say that residents should turn in their absentee ballot as soon as it is done in order to give them ample time to sort through those submitted before the election deadline. 

Mail-in: Though much criticism has been heard nationally about the security of mail-in ballots, all three lake area clerks say that this method of voting is safe in Missouri. After requesting a mail-in ballot, it must be notarized before submitting for counting.You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Wednesday, October 21, 2020. 

In-Person: If absentee ballots or the mail-in option don’t work for you, there is always the good-ole-fashioned choice of going to the polls and voting in person on Election Day. Lake area voting locations will be practicing safety precautions, including sneeze guards, single-use, take-home pens and will be advising the use of facemasks, though will not require it. Bring your voter’s registration and ID to your county polling station, fill out your form and turn in the ballot to complete your vote.

Lake area clerks are expecting a high percentage of voters in the 2020 Novemeber election, possibly up to 80% turnout. Be sure to do your part and get out and vote!