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Election 2020: Everything you need to know about voting in Missouri and Illinois

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ST. LOUIS ( - The number of people who vote either by absentee ballot or mail in their ballots is expected to rise this election season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vote voting elections generic

However, mail-in voting and absentee voting are not the same and Missouri and Illinois have different laws regarding each.

Here's what you need to know:

Dates to know


General Election: November 3

Voter registration deadline has passed

Early Voting (absentee voting only): Started in September

Deadline to request absentee ballot: It has passed



General Election: November 3

Voter registration deadline: It has passed

Early Voting: Started in September

Deadline to request absentee ballot: It has passed


Register to vote

To check if you are registered to vote in Missouri, click here.

To check of you are registered to vote in Illinois, click here.

If you are not registered to vote, both states have made registering to vote an easy online process. 

To register to vote in Illinois, click here.


Voting in person

Polling places for in-person voting are based on the address a voter used when they registered. Using that address, you can quickly find your polling place. 

To find your polling place in Missouri, click here.  In St. Louis County, voters can cast a ballot at any polling place in the county.

To find your polling place in Illinois, click here.  


Voting Absentee



Areas in the St. Louis metro saw thousands of absentee ballot requests.

The number of people who vote either by absentee ballot or mail in their ballots is expected to rise this election season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Voters in Missouri must state a reason why they are voting absentee, such as being out of town on Election Day, are a poll worker, or at-risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. 

The requirements for requesting an absentee ballot over COVID-19 concerns are as follows:

  • Are 65 years of age or older

  • Live in a long-term care facility licensed under Chapter 198, RSMo.

  • Have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

  • Have serious heart conditions

  • Are immunocompromised

  • Have diabetes

  • Have chronic kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis or

  • Have liver disease.

For more on the requirements for absentee voting in Missouri, click here.

Areas like St. Louis County received nearly 110,000 requests-- typically they get 1,000 to 2,000 requests per day. More than 20,000 ballots were mailed the following day. In St. Charles, the board of election leaders said they've received almost 8,000 requests while St. Louis City officials only got 1,000 absentee ballot requests. 

Voters could vote absentee at the office of their local election authority until 5:00 p.m. the night before the election.



Illinois voters can request an absentee ballot without an excuse. The only restriction is they must request the ballot by October 29 online or by mail, or by November 2 in person.

For more on absentee or early voting in Illinois, click hereClick here for specific times and locations for voting in St. Clair County. Click here for specific times and locations in Madison County.

How Mail-in voting Works 



 Voters requesting a mail-in ballot by mail who have registered by mail and have not voted in person must submit a copy of their personal identification unless they already did so with their registration application.

Mail-in ballots must be sent back by mail in the envelope provided by the election authority, with the statement on the envelope signed and witnessed by a notary, with some exceptions: 

  • Those who are confined because of an illness or disability or because they are caring for someone confined with an illness or disability.

  • Those who have COVID-19 or are at high risk for contracting the virus. (high-risk individuals are categorized in the absentee section above)

A mail-in ballot must be received by your local election authority by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, the same time the polls close for in-person voting, so send it as early as you can to make sure it received by election day.

For more on mail-in voting in Missouri, click here.

If you are a St. Louis County resident and want to track your ballot online, click here. 

St. Charles County voters can cast their ballots by clicking here.



Anyone in Illinois can vote by mail. A vote-by-mail application can be submitted up to 90 days before Election Day. The last day to make such a request is five days before Election Day, October 29. For more on voting by mail in Illinois, click here.

Voters are encouraged to mail their ballots a full week ahead of the due date (Nov. 3) to ensure they arrive on time. 

The Ballot

Both states have provided a sample ballot for the Nov. 3 election. Voters in Missouri can view their ballot here. Voters in Illinois can view their ballot here.  

News 4 has also provided a quick look at the key races in each state, along with breakdowns of each contest.  




Mike Parson (Rep. incumbent)

Nicole Galloway (Dem)

Jerome Bauer (Green)

Rik Combs (Libertarian)

Lt. Governor

Mike Kehoe (Rep. incumbent)

Alissia Canady (Dem)

Kelley Dragoo (Green)

Bill Slantz (Libertarian)

Attorney General

Eric Schmitt (Rep. incumbent)

Rich Finneran (Dem)

Kevin Babcock (Lib)

Secretary of State

Jay Ashcroft (Rep. incumbent)

Yinka Faleti (Dem)

Carl Herman Freese (Lib)

Paul Lehmann (Green)

Paul Venable (Const)


Scott Fitzpatrick (Rep. incumbent)

Vicki Lorenz Englund (Dem)

Nick Kasoff (Lib)

Joseph Civettini (Green)

Missouri's 1st Congressional District

Cori Bush (Dem)

Anthony Rogers (Rep)

Alex Furman (Lib)

Missouri's 2nd Congressional District

Ann Wagner (Rep incumbent)

Jill Schupp (Dem)

Martin Schulte (Lib)

General election for St. Louis City Circuit Attorney

Kim Gardner (Dem incumbent)

Daniel Zdrodowski (Rep)

St. Louis County Executive

Sam Page (Dem. incumbent)

Paul Berry III (Rep)



United States Senate 

Dick Durbin (Dem. incumbent)

Mark Curran (Rep)

Danny Malouf (Lib)

Willie Wilson (Willie Wilson Party)

David Black (Green Party)

Illinois 13th Congressional District

Rodney Davis (Rep. incumbent)

Betsy Londrigan (Dem)

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