ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - 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.
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: October 7
Early Voting (absentee voting only): September 22
Deadline to request absentee ballot: October 21 (by mail or fax), November 2 (in person)
General Election: November 3
Voter registration deadline: October 6 (in-person/by mail), October 18 (online)
Early Voting: September 24
Deadline to request absentee ballot: October 29 (by online or by mail), November 2 (in person)
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 Missouri, click here.
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.
To find your polling place in Illinois, click here.
As we approach Election Day, voters can cast their absentee ballots beginning Tuesday, Sept 22. Areas in the St. Louis metro have already seen thousands of absentee ballot requests.
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.
Those wishing to request an absentee ballot must do so from their local election authority (i.e.: their county's election board). Absentee ballot requests must be received by the local authority no later than the second Wednesday before Election Day, October 21.
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
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 can 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 here. Click 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
Those wishing to vote by mail must request a ballot from their local election authority no later than the second Wednesday before Election Day, October 21. 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.
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.
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)
Nichole Galloway (Dem)
Jerome Bauer (Green)
Rik Combs (Libertarian)
Mike Kehoe (Rep. incumbent)
Alissia Canady (Dem)
Kelley Dragoo (Green)
Bill Slantz (Libertarian)
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)
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)