Guest blog by Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon
The November 3rd General Election is almost here! 2020 has been an unusual year in so many ways and elections have not been immune from the challenges posed by the national pandemic. As we’ve navigated through a rescheduled municipal election in June and an August primary election with record-breaking absentee numbers, voters continue to make their voice heard in Boone County. November is no exception. So far, over 13 percent of eligible Boone County voters have already cast their ballot by mail or in person absentee and we predict that 90,000 voters will turn out for this election.
Voting Before November 3rd
While the time has passed for requesting a mailed ballot, there are still several voting options available leading up to November 3rd. While Missouri does not have traditional early voting, we do have in-person absentee voting, which requires you to state your reason for requesting an absentee ballot. In-person absentee voting is available at our office at the corner of 9th Street and Ash until 5pm on November 2nd. You do not need to sign up in advance or bring an application, just be sure to bring a form of ID. Our office also has a curbside tent at the 9th Street entrance, weather permitting.
We also have weekend hours for in-person absentee voting available. We’ve partnered with the Daniel Boone Regional Library to use their Bookmobile, Jr. as a mobile voting location and we’ll be at Centralia High School from 10am to 3pm on October 24th at and at Douglass High School from 10am to 3pm on October 25th. Our office in downtown Columbia will also be open from 9am to 1pm on October 31st.
As we get closer to the election, if you become quarantined or isolated as a result of COVID-19, please contact our office at 573-886-4375 and we can send a bipartisan team of election judges to your residence.
If you’ve requested a mailed absentee or mail-in ballot, make sure you follow the instructions that come with your ballot. Complete your ballot envelope, including your name, address, and signature, and be sure to get it notarized if necessary. Absentee ballots requested because the voter is at-risk for COVID-19 or incapacitated or confined due to an illness do not need to be notarized. Once you’ve completed your ballot, return it as soon as possible because all ballots must be received by 7pm on Election Day.
Election Day Voting
Finally, 76 polling places will be open on Election Day from 6am til 7pm. You can view your polling place assignment and sample ballot on our website, http://vote.boonemo.org. Both the Boone County Government Center and Mizzou Arena will serve as central polling places for any registered Boone County voter. Due to COVID-19 precautions, each polling place will have plexiglass shields in front of election judges, election judges will have masks, hand sanitizer will be available, and social distancing measures will be observed. Be sure to bring a valid form of ID, which include a driver’s license, voter ID card, university ID, government-issued ID, or bank statement or utility bill (with the voter’s current name and address).
Whichever method you choose, know that our office works hard to ensure the integrity and security of every ballot. Make your plan early, check your polling place and voter record on our website, and make your voice heard on November 3rd!