Mail-in voting expansion has expired, leaving fewer options for April election

Voters+check+in+to+cast+their+ballots+at+the+Sunset+Hills+Community+Center+during+the+April+2019+election.

Photo by Erin Achenbach

Voters check in to cast their ballots at the Sunset Hills Community Center during the April 2019 election.

With the April general municipal election six weeks away, the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissions is reminding voters that they will have fewer ways to vote compared to the elections held in August and November 2020, after provisions that expanded mail-in voting have expired.
In 2020, the Missouri General Assembly passed a law that created a new absentee excuse for voters who were vulnerable to COVID-19. In addition, the Legislature created a new no-excuse mail-in ballot. However, these provisions expired at the end of 2020 and, to date, the General Assembly has not taken any action that would extend the provisions of the 2020 law.

“Unless or until the General Assembly passes another law, the Board of Elections must abide by the pre-COVID-19 laws that are in force,” the election board said in a news release.
Residents of St. Louis County who wish to vote with an absentee ballot will have to meet one of the six reasons for voting absentee:
1. Absent from St. Louis County on Election Day;
2. Incapacitated or confined due to sickness or disability, including caring for a person who is
incapacitated or confined due to sickness or disability;
3. Restricted by religious belief or practice;
4. Employed by an election authority;
5. Incarcerated, although all necessary qualifications for voting have been retained;
6. A participant in the Missouri Safe at Home program

If a voter does not meet one of the reasons listed above, he/she will only legally be able to cast their vote in
person at a polling place on Election Day. The absentee ballot application is available at www.stlouiscovotes.com and must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 24.

For more information, visit www.stlouiscovotes.com or call 314-615-1800.