☰ Revisor of Missouri

Title IX SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS

Chapter 115

Effective - 04 Jun 2020, see footnote bottom

  115.302.  Mail-in ballots — application — deadline, storage of ballots — ballot envelope requirements — statement form — delivery of ballots — procedures for voting, return of ballot, death of voter, and processing of ballots — termination date. — 1.  Any registered voter of this state may cast a mail-in ballot as provided in this section.  Nothing in this section shall prevent a voter from casting an absentee ballot, provided such person has not cast a ballot pursuant to this section.  Application for a mail-in ballot may be made by the applicant in person, or by United States mail, or on behalf of the applicant by his or her guardian or relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity.

  2.  Each application for a mail-in ballot shall be made to the election authority of the jurisdiction in which the person is registered.  Each application shall be in writing and shall state the applicant's name, address at which he or she is registered, the address to which the ballot is to be mailed.

  3.  All applications for mail-in ballots received prior to the sixth Tuesday before an election shall be stored at the office of the election authority until such time as the applications are processed under section 115.281.  No application for a mail-in ballot received in the office of the election authority after 5:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday immediately prior to the election shall be accepted by any election authority.

  4.  Each application for a mail-in ballot shall be signed by the applicant or, if the application is made by a guardian or relative under this section, the application shall be signed by the guardian or relative, who shall note on the application his or her relationship to the applicant.  If an applicant, guardian, or relative is blind, unable to read or write the English language, or physically incapable of signing the application, he or she shall sign by mark that is witnessed by the signature of an election official or person of his or her choice.  Knowingly making, delivering, or mailing a fraudulent mail-in-ballot application is a class one election offense.

  5.  Not later than the sixth Tuesday prior to each election, or within fourteen days after candidate names or questions are certified under section 115.125, the election authority shall cause to have printed and made available a sufficient quantity of ballots, ballot envelopes, and mailing envelopes.  As soon as possible after a proper official calls a special state or county election, the election authority shall cause to have printed and made available a sufficient quantity of mail-in ballots, ballot envelopes, and mailing envelopes.

  6.  Each ballot envelope shall bear a statement in substantially the same form described in subsection 9 of this section.  In addition, any person providing assistance to the mail-in voter shall include a signature on the envelope identifying the person providing such assistance under penalties of perjury.  Persons authorized to vote only for federal and statewide offices shall also state their former Missouri residence.

  7.  The statement for persons voting mail-in ballots who are registered voters shall be in substantially the following form:

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State of Missouri
County (City) of _________ 
I, _________  (print name), a registered voter of _________  County (City of St. Louis, Kansas City), declare under the penalties of perjury that:  I am qualified to vote at this election; I have not voted and will not vote other than by this ballot at this election.  I further state that I marked the enclosed ballot in secret or that I am blind, unable to read or write English, or physically incapable of marking the ballot, and the person of my choosing indicated below marked the ballot at my direction; all of the information on this statement is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, true.
__________________  __________________ 
Signature of Voter Signature of Person
Assisting Voter
(if applicable)
Subscribed and sworn to before me this _________ day of _________ , _________ .
__________________ 
Signature of notary or other officer authorized to administer oaths.
______________ 
______________ 
Mailing addresses
(if different)

­

  8.  Upon receipt of a signed application for a mail-in ballot and if satisfied that the applicant is entitled to vote by mail-in ballot, the election authority shall, within three working days after receiving the application, or, if mail-in ballots are not available at the time the application is received, within five working days after such ballots become available, deliver to the voter a mail-in ballot, ballot envelope and such instructions as are necessary for the applicant to vote.  If the election authority is not satisfied that any applicant is entitled to vote by mail-in ballot, the authority shall not deliver a mail-in ballot to the applicant.  Within three working days of receiving such an application, the election authority shall notify the applicant and state the reason he or she is not entitled to vote by mail-in ballot.  The applicant may file a complaint with the elections division of the secretary of state's office under section 115.219.

  9.  On the mailing and ballot envelopes for each covered voter, the election authority shall stamp the words "ELECTION BALLOT, STATE OF MISSOURI" and "U.S. Postage Paid, 39 U.S.C. Section 3406".

  10.  No information which encourages a vote for or against a candidate or issue shall be provided to any voter with a mail-in ballot.

  11.  Upon receiving a mail-in ballot by mail, the voter shall mark the ballot in secret, place the ballot in the ballot envelope, seal the envelope and fill out the statement on the ballot envelope.  The statement required under subsection 7 of this section shall be subscribed and sworn to before a notary public or other officer authorized by law to administer oaths.  If the voter is blind, unable to read or write the English language, or physically incapable of voting the ballot, the voter may be assisted by a person of the voter's own choosing.  Any person who assists a voter and in any manner coerces or initiates a request or suggestion that the voter vote for or against, or refrain from voting on, any question or candidate, shall be guilty of a class one election offense.  If, upon counting, challenge, or election contest, it is ascertained that any mail-in ballot was voted with unlawful assistance, the ballot shall be rejected.

  12.  Each mail-in ballot shall be returned to the election authority in the ballot envelope and shall only be returned by the voter by United States mail.

  13.  The secretary of state may prescribe uniform regulations with respect to the printing of ballot envelopes and mailing envelopes, which shall comply with standards established by federal law or postal regulations.  Mailing envelopes for use in returning ballots shall be printed with business reply permits so that any ballot returned by mail does not require postage.  All fees and costs for establishing and maintaining the business reply and postage-free mail for all ballots cast shall be paid by the secretary of state through state appropriations.

  14.  All votes on each mail-in ballot received by an election authority at or before the time fixed by law for the closing of the polls on election day shall be counted.  No votes on any mail-in ballot received by an election authority after the time fixed by law for the closing of the polls on election day shall be counted.

  15.  If sufficient evidence is shown to an election authority that any mail-in voter has died prior to the opening of the polls on election day, the ballot of the deceased voter shall be rejected if it is still sealed in the ballot envelope.  Any such rejected ballot, still sealed in its ballot envelope, shall be sealed with the application and any other papers connected therewith in an envelope marked "Rejected ballot of _________ , a mail-in voter of _________  voting district".  The reason for rejection shall be noted on the envelope, which shall be kept by the election authority with the other ballots from the election until the ballots are destroyed according to law.

  16.  As each mail-in ballot is received by the election authority, the election authority shall indicate its receipt on the list.

  17.  All mail-in ballot envelopes received by the election authority shall be kept together in a safe place and shall not be opened except as provided under this chapter.

  18.  Mail-in ballots shall be counted using the procedures set out in sections 115.297, 115.299, 115.300, and 115.303.

  19.  The false execution of a mail-in ballot is a class one election offense.  The attorney general or any prosecuting or circuit attorney shall have the authority to prosecute such offense either in the county of residence of the person or in the circuit court of Cole County.

  20.  The provisions of this section shall apply only to an election that occurs during the year 2020, to avoid the risk of contracting or transmitting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

  21.  The provisions of this section terminate and shall be repealed on December 31, 2020, and shall not apply to any election conducted after that date.

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(L. 2020 S.B. 631)

Effective 6-04-20

Termination date 12-31-20


---- end of effective   04 Jun 2020 ----

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