Voting by mail this election? Here’s what you need to know


MADISON COUNTY, Ill. – Madison County Clerk Debbie Ming-Mendoza said requests for mail-in ballots have already doubled the amount requested during the previous presidential election in 2016. She said there were approximately 10,000 voters request a mail-in ballot in 2016.

As of Thursday, the county has received 24,039 requests.

Registered voters can vote by mail in Illinois but must first request a ballot. Ming-Mendoza encourages anyone wishing to vote by mail to request a ballot as soon as possible. She said the last day her office can legally mail out a ballot to a voter is October 29.

“That makes me a little nervous because we don’t know how quickly the mail will be able to get their ballot to the voter,” she said.

Illinois voters casting votes by mail must have their ballot postmarked by election day and received within 14 days of election day. Ming-Mendoza said her officer is prepared and encourages all eligible voters to cast a ballot whether it’s in-person or by mail. Illinois also is a state with same-day registration, meaning voters can register to vote on election day.

Voting by mail in Missouri is different. There are two ways to vote by mail in the Show Me State. One way is to request an absentee mail-in ballot. Anyone requesting one will be asked to check a reason for their request. The most recent addition to the list of allowable reasons to vote absentee by mail is if the voter has contracted or is in an at-risk category of contracting or transmitting COVID-19.

Other qualifying reasons include if the voter expects to be away from their voting jurisdiction on election day, they are unable to leave home due to an illness or disability, they can’t leave home because they’re caring for someone who is incapacitated or confined due to an illness or disability. Additional qualifying reasons include a religious belief or practice, if they are an election authority employee, if they are incarcerated but still can legally vote and if they are in a witness protection program.

A notary is not required for an absentee mail-in ballot. Registered Missouri voters who do not qualify to vote absentee by mail can still vote my mail by requesting a mail-in ballot. The only difference is those ballots do need to be notarized under Missouri law.

The requests for absentee mail-in ballots are at unprecedented levels this election cycle.

“We have over 90,000 applications in house; that’s at least six times more than we had 4 years ago,” said Rick Stream, Republican Director of Elections for St. Louis County.

The last day Missouri counties can accept a request for a mail-in ballot for the upcoming November election is October 21. Stream encourages voters wishing to vote by mail to request their ballot as soon as possible so election workers can verify and process those requests. Missouri counties can start mailing ballots to voters who requested them later this month. Absentee mail-in and mail-in votes must be received by 7 p.m. on election day in Missouri.

The deadline for Missourians wishing to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election is October 7.

For more information:
Illinois Counties Election information

Missouri Counties Election Info

Missouri Election Info:
Illinois Election Info:

Latest Headlines

Stay Connected

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local News

More Local News