Published September 21st, 2022 at 1:30 PM
Missouri’s Nov. 8 general election is fast approaching. Time to get things lined up so you know if you can vote, where you can vote, and what you’ll be voting on when Election Day rolls around.
Missourians have some high-profile races coming up, and with the balance of the U.S. Senate and House in question, every vote will be important.
There are also several constitutional ballot questions to be decided, most notably one legalizing recreational marijuana and another calling for a new constitutional convention.
KCUR has compiled a list of candidates, rules and deadlines for voting and information on each amendment.
In Missouri, you must be 17-and-a-half years old to register and 18 years old by Election Day to vote. You must also be a Missouri resident and a United States citizen.
The deadline to register to vote before Missouri’s general election is Oct. 12, 2022.
Not sure whether you’re already registered? This page at the Secretary of State website can help you find out.
Otherwise you can register the following ways:
The law on absentee voting in Missouri has changed since the primary. Missouri now offers both excuse and no-excuse options.
In-person absentee voting at your local election office starts on Sept. 27 for residents who meet certain eligibility requirements.
You can vote absentee if you have a physical disability, cite religious beliefs, are an election worker away from your own polling place, if you are incarcerated, or if you are a certified participant in an address confidentiality program. The request must be made at your local election office.
If you vote absentee with an excuse, you must request your ballot by Oct. 26. You can return the ballot by mail or fax, but it must be received by the local election office no later than 5 p.m. the second Wednesday before the election, or Oct. 26.
There are no drop boxes in Missouri for ballots, other than the U.S. Postal Service.
For Missourians who don’t fall in one of those categories, there is now an option for you! Any Missuori voter can vote absentee without giving an excuse during the last two weeks before the election – in this case, starting Oct. 25, 2022.
Absentee voting is available in-person until 5 p.m. the day before the election (Nov. 7). If you use the no-excuse option, you cannot mail in your absentee ballot.
If you vote absentee in person, you will still be asked to provide voter ID. In-person absentee voters will not be provided with a provisional ballot.
You can also ask for an absentee ballot by mail, fax, email or in person from the local election office. (Don’t ask through the Secretary of State’s office.)
Second-degree relatives can request ballots on behalf of their spouses, parents or children by filling out a form in person at the election office.
In person polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8. If you are in line at the closing time, you still have a right to cast a ballot — stay in line!
Your polling place is determined by where you live, but may have changed since the last time you voted. Locate your polling location here.
Need more accessible voting? Arrangements, including audio ballots and enlarged text, are available for those with mobility issues and disabilities.. There’s also an option to request a different polling place if yours is not accessible, or to sign up for permanent absentee voting.
According to the Missouri Secretary of State’s website, polling places will also offer curbside voting: “Voters with limited mobility can vote ‘curbside’ or outside the polling place. Just go to your polling place and ask someone to go in and ask poll workers to bring a ballot out to you. They should bring you a ballot within a reasonable period of time.”
Yes. Voter ID rules in Missouri have changed since the August primary because of a recently-signed law. The new law requires photo identification to cast a ballot.
Some examples of a valid ID are:
Read this guide for information on how to get a valid voter ID in Missouri.
You can get a photo ID for free at the Missouri Department of Revenue or by calling 573-526-VOTE (8683).
If you show up to your polling place but don’t have the required ID, you can still fill out a provisional ballot. However, you’ll need to take action to make sure your vote is counted – your provisional ballot will include a stub telling you how to verify your identification.
You can do so by returning to your polling place on Election Day with an accepted photo ID. Your vote may also be counted if local election officials determine that your signature matches the one on your voter registration record.
In the November general election, Missouri voters will decide who they’re sending the U.S. Senate and U.S. House, as well as elect officials on the local level. But there are also a handful of statewide ballot issues that are worth paying attention to.
Find your full sample ballot here.
Missouri has five ballot questions this election. The proposed amendments offer a wide array of changes to the state constitution, including on how tax money is invested and whether to call a new constitutional convention.
But the marquee amendment asks whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults over 21.
Amendment 1 would allow the state General Assembly to override existing constitutional restrictions on how the state treasurer invests taxpayer money. This would allow legislators to expand options for investment and allow the treasurer to invest in municipal securities.
Currently there is no statutory authority granted to lawmakers on investment.
Amendment 3: Recreational marijuana
Missourians approved marijuana for medical use in 2018. Amendment 3, which was put on the ballot by citizen petition, would remove prohibitions against possession, sale, manufacturing and using it for personal use.
The amendment would also allow people convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses to petition for release from incarceration or parole, and have their records expunged. In addition, it requires a registration card for people who want to cultivate the plants, a lottery to award licenses and equal distribution between congressional districts for licenses.
The amendment would also impose a 6% sales tax with revenues dedicated to various programs.
Read KCUR’s full guide to the Missouri legal marijuana amendment here.
Amendment 4: Kansas City Police funding
Amendment 4 uniquely affects Kansas City and its police department.
During the last legislative session, Missouri lawmakers passed a law that would require Kansas City to allocate 25% of its general revenues to the KCPD each year – an increase from the 20% already required. But the law was called into question as being an unfunded mandate, disallowed by the Hancock Amendment to the Missouri Constitution.
Amendment 4 specifically allows state laws passed before Dec. 31, 2026 to increase the minimum funding for police departments overseen by a state board of commissioners.
Kansas City’s police department is the only one in Missouri under such a governing structure, and therefore the only department whose funding would be affected. The state control arrangement was created in 1939 and is a vestige of the Pendergast era.
Kansas City’s mayor has challenged the recent police funding law in court.
Amendment 5: Missouri National Guard control
The Missouri National Guard, currently under the state Department of Public Safety, would become its own state agency under Amendment 5.
The new agency would be headed by an adjutant general appointed by the governor, with advice and consent of the state Senate. According to the ballot information on the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, this would not have an impact on taxes.
The amendment puts the guard more directly answerable to the governor. It was proposed in the most recent legislative session by Missouri Rep. Adam Schnelting, R-St. Peters, and placed on the ballot by the General Assembly.
Constitutional convention question
Because of an automatic referendum clause in the state constitution, Missourians get to decide once every 20 years whether to call a new constitutional convention, with the possibility of rewriting the state’s constitution, as long as it doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution.
Twenty-one Republicans and 11 Democrats filed in the primary for Missouri’s U.S. Senate races after Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, who was first elected in 2010, announced he would not seek re-election.
Voters have since narrowed the choices down to one candidate per party. With the balance of the U.S. Senate at stake this year, expect this race to get a lot of attention.
Members of the U.S. House are re-elected every two years, so every representative in Missouri is on the ballot this year. As with the Senate, the Democratic majority is thin enough that eyes will be focused on whether it will hold through the general election.
Another thing to note: Your congressional district might be different this year than it was before. Following the 2020 census, the Missouri General Assembly approved a redistricting plan that creates new congressional maps, rearranging the boundaries of House districts.
Check the Secretary of State’s website to find out which congressional district you’re voting in.
Roxie Hammill is a freelance journalist in Kansas City. This story first appeared on KCUR 89.3, a member of the KC Media Collective. This story is part of ongoing midterm election coverage by members of the KC Media Collective.