Voting by mail in Missouri or Illinois? What you need to know


ST. LOUIS – Election officials across the nation are preparing for more people to vote by mail but the process varies from state to state. Here’s what you need to know if you live in Missouri or Illinois.

In Illinois, Madison County Clerk Debbie Ming Mendoza says she’s already received three times as many mail ballot requests than during the 2016 presidential election.

Meanwhile, in Missouri, St. Louis County is also seeing a spike, with 100,000 ballots already sent out.

Rick Stream, St. Louis County director of elections, says unlike Illinois residents, Missourians need a reason to vote absentee and, in most cases, it still needs to be notarized.

“The two reasons that do not require a notary are the COVID block and also if you’re incapacitated or disabled or caring for someone that is incapacitated or disabled,” Stream said.

For the first time, because of COVID, Missouri is also offering voting by mail but those ballots must be notarized and must be returned through the mail.

The last day to register in Missouri is Oct. 7 and the last day to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 21. All votes must be in-hand by November 3 to count.

In Illinois, voters can register even on Election Day and they don’t need a reason or a notary to make their mail-in ballot count.

“As long as your ballot is postmarked by November 3, I will continue to receive and cast ballots until November 17. The law allows me to do that,” Ming-Mendoza said.

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