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Democracy Starts Locally: Missouri Municipal Elections Today

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Missourians can request an absentee ballot six weeks prior to the Aug. 4 and Nov. 3 elections. (JC/Flickr)
Missourians can request an absentee ballot six weeks prior to the Aug. 4 and Nov. 3 elections. (JC/Flickr)
June 2, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- After an unprecedented delay, municipal elections will be held in Missouri today. Amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Michael Parson signed an executive order in March to push back the election from its original date of April 7.

While turnout for municipal elections typically isn't very high, Evelyn Maddox, president of the League of Women Voters of Missouri, explained these are the elections that can impact communities the most.

"Democracy starts locally," Maddox said. "And the quality of our government is so important at the local level."

Local election workers have been putting new health measures in place, such as shields to separate workers and voters. Maddox encouraged voters to also take precautions.

"Go with your own mask. Try to go with your own sanitizer to be used before and after you vote," she said. "Our election officials are concerned about public safety, and they too will be doing their best to keep it a safe environment for everyone."

Information on candidates and ballot measures is available online at VOTE411.org. Polls will be open until 7 p.m.

Maddox said the league is continuing its work to ensure elections are free, fair and accessible for all. She noted that often the candidates we select for state government become the people making decisions about voting rights.

"Recent actions about photo ID and continuing to require a notarized signature on an absentee ballot during the COVID crisis are just two examples of how our Legislature was not acting in our interest," she said.

Absentee ballots can be requested up to six weeks before the August 4 primary or the November 3 general election.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - MO