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Early voting vs. absentee voting: where and when it's available

Illinois voters have the option of voting early. Missouri voters have the option of absentee

ST. LOUIS — Voters in Illinois and Missouri don't have to wait until Election Day to cast their ballots. But the process varies between states.

Illinois voters can cast their votes early from Sept. through Nov. 2, the day before the general election. The process is just like voting on Election Day, except voters probably will not go to their normal election day polling place.

As November approaches, more early voting locations will open. Check with your election authority before you head out the door. And make sure you're registered, or bring everything you need with you to register in person.

Missouri voters do not technically have an early voting option. The only option to vote in-person before Election Day is to fill out an absentee ballot. Absentee voting began Sept. 22 and continues through Nov. 2. Voting absentee in Missouri requires an "excuse" for why voters are not able to vote on Election Day, as outlined by the Missouri Secretary of State's office

Missouri voters also have the option of voting absentee by mail. If voters apply to vote absentee, an absentee ballot will get mailed.

Voters do not have to apply to vote absentee in person.

However, if voters have already applied, they can deliver their completed absentee-by-mail ballot to an absentee in-person voting location. They can also
surrender it and get a new ballot to vote in person.

Unlike most mailed ballots, absentee in-person ballots do not need to be notarized, since you'll vote at an authorized voting location.

Missouri absentee in-person locations will include the election authority's office and possibly satellite locations closer to Election Day.

In both states, absentee and early votes aren't counted until Election Day.

Know to Vote