How to Vote in Missouri's 2022 Elections

Posted on 07/05/22 by Andrew Soergel

En español | Missouri’s Aug. 2 primary elections will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballot for seats in the U.S. House and Senate and the state legislature, among other races. Note that changes could be coming to how you vote this year.

What's new this year?

Under a recently passed election law, a valid photo ID is required when casting a regular ballot or absentee ballot in person, an additional two weeks has been added to the in-person absentee voting period, drop boxes for absentee ballots are not permitted, and the use of paper ballots will become mandatory in 2023. The other new protocols go into effect August 28. Also, the state's redistricting plan has redrawn certain congressional and state legislative districts, and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot.

Essential info:

  • Absentee voting: Absentee ballots are only available to voters who meet certain criteria, including people with a disability or illness or who will be out of town on Election Day. Absentee ballots generally must be notarized.
  • Early in-person voting: If you qualify for an absentee ballot, you can fill it out and submit it in person at your county election authority until Aug. 1 for the primary and Nov. 7 for the general.
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  • In-person voting on Election Day:  The primary takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 2; the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How do I register to vote?

  • Online: Use the state’s voter registration portal. You’ll be asked for your driver’s license number (if you have a license) and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Register by July 6 to vote in the primary and by Oct. 12 to vote in the general.
  • By mail: Download and print a voter registration form from the secretary of state’s website, then complete it and mail it to your county election authority. You can also fill out an online form to have an application mailed to you, or contact your election authority to ask that they mail you a ballot. Completed forms must be postmarked by July 6 to vote in the primary and Oct. 12 to vote in the general.
  • In person: Register in person or drop off a completed registration form at your local election authority. Or register at a local library, a driver’s licensing center or at other state agencies listed on the secretary of state’s website. If you register in person, you’ll need to present a valid form of ID, such as a driver’s license or U.S. passport. Register by July 6 to vote in the primary and by Oct. 12 to vote in the general.

Check your voter registration status through the state’s voter information portal.

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote?

No, Missouri’s primaries are open, so voters choose the party primary in which they participate. But you can vote in only one party’s primary.

How can I get an absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Absentee ballots are only available to certain voters, including people with an illness or disability or who will be out of town on Election Day. A full list of criteria is on the secretary of state’s website.

Absentee voting begins June 28 for the primary and Sept. 20 for the general election. You can apply by mail or in person.

  • By mail: Print an absentee ballot application form and mail it to your local election authority. Or contact your election authority and ask that they mail you an application. You can also email or fax completed forms to your elections authority. Forms must be submitted by 5 p.m. on July 27 for the primary and on Oct. 26 for the general.
  • In person: Fill out a ballot request or drop off your completed form at your local election authority. If ballots are available, you can fill one out and cast it while you’re there until 5 p.m. the day before the election.

Once you receive your ballot, you’ll need to complete it and return it to your local election authority by mail or in person. It must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. You’ll need to get your ballot notarized unless you’re a nursing home resident or confined to your home because of an illness.

Are there any accommodations for people with disabilities?

Yes. If you have a physical disability, you can ask to be placed on the state’s permanent absentee voting list. Absentee ballot applications should then be automatically mailed to you before every election. Contact your local election authority for more information.

Polling places in Missouri offer curbside voting to people with limited mobility, so you can stay in your car while a poll worker brings you a ballot. Polling locations also have equipment to help people who are visually impaired.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Only if you qualify for an absentee ballot.  If you do, you can fill one out at your local election authority until 5 p.m. the day before the election. 
Your ballot won’t need to be notarized if you fill it out at your election authority.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The primary is Tuesday, Aug. 2; the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., but you can vote after 7 p.m. as long as you’re in line before polls close. Contact your local election authority to find your polling place.

Do I need identification to vote?

Yes, you’ll need to show a Missouri driver’s license, state ID card, U.S. passport or other acceptable ID listed on the secretary of state’s website.

If you forget your ID, you can still cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted as a regular ballot as long as your signature matches the signature in the state’s voter registry or if you return to your polling place with proper ID.

What races are on the ballot in 2022?

  • U.S. Senate: One seat, currently held by Republican Roy Blunt, who’s not seeking reelection
  • U.S. House: all eight seats
  • State Senate: 17 of 34 seats
  • State House: all 163 seats

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on July 5 with information about how to vote in 2022. The guide was first published on Aug. 10, 2020.

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