The General Election set for November 3, 2020, is quickly approaching. Many have had concerns or questions over how they will be able to cast their ballot with the current Covid-19 crisis, as well as changes in Missouri election laws. Please be aware that there are candidates and issues on both sides of the ballot in this election. If you are prepared ahead of time, voting your ballot should take little time at all.
The first step is to make sure you are correctly registered to vote in Crawford County. Every eligible Crawford County resident who is registered to vote before October 7, 2020, will be entitled to vote in the upcoming election. You may check your registration status on the Missouri Secretary of State's website at sos.mo.gov in order to make sure your information is up-to-date. Some of you might need to update your current address, which may also be done online at sos.mo.gov, in-person at the County Clerk's office at the courthouse, or even at the DMV offices in Cuba or Steelville. Having your registration in order will save you time at the polling place and will help the line move faster, so please, think ahead.
If you plan on voting at your polling place on Election Day, you will need to bring valid identification with you, like your driver's license or voter registration card. In order to keep lines moving faster than previous elections, there will be multiple machines and voting booths available at the largest polling places. All polling places will be busy, but we are trying to lessen the wait time. Please exercise a little patience and things will be fine. Again, think ahead.
Social distancing markers and hand sanitizer will be available at every polling place in the county. If you wish to wear a face covering, please bring your own, as none will be provided. Each voter will receive a new, unused marker at the check-in table. As in previous elections, be sure to use only the marker provided to mark your ballot.
As a reminder, there is no electioneering allowed within 25 feet of any entrance to any polling place. This includes, but is not limited to, visible display of hats, shirts, face masks, buttons, stickers, tattoos, or other signage for or against any candidate or issue on the ballot. Suspected violations of any and all election offenses will be investigated and, if necessary, submitted for prosecution.
If you are unable to vote at your polling place on election day, you will need to make arrangements to vote either an absentee ballot, or a mail-in ballot. These are two different concepts, the rules of which can be found in the election notice printed elsewhere in this edition. Please make sure you follow all directions when voting an absentee or mail-in ballot. When in doubt, ask questions.
However you decide to cast your ballot, again, I urge you to THINK AHEAD. While there is more than a month's time to make sure your absentee or mail-in ballot is correctly submitted, please do not procrastinate.
To maintain social distancing and voter privacy, only two people will be allowed in the County Clerk's office at one time for the duration of the election cycle. Your patience is appreciated.
John G. Martin,