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Voting dates and deadlines to know

In Missouri and Illinois, Nov. 3 is not the only day to mark on your calendar

ST. LOUIS — Ahead of this year's election, you may have heard: act early. But what does early mean?

Here are the dates you need to know to vote in Missouri and Illinois.

MISSOURI

Register to vote by Oct. 7.

Request an Absentee or Mail-In Ballot by Oct. 21 (With more people than ever expected to vote by mail, waiting until then is risky. It’s recommended you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive your ballot on time.)

Applications will be processed and mailed out beginning Sept. 22. This is also when absentee early voting begins

Since ballots need to be received by election day to count in Missouri, it's recommended you mail it back no later than Oct. 27.

RELATED: St. Louis to open 3 in-person absentee voting sites

RELATED: Why Missourians at risk for COVID-19 should vote absentee, not mail-in

RELATED: St. Louis County voters now allowed to cast ballots at any polling place in the county

ILLINOIS

You can register to vote online until Oct. 18, or in-person up to and on election day at your polling place.

Polling places will open for early in-person voting on Sept. 24. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, all registered voters are already automatically receiving applications to vote by mail.

Illinois only requires ballots be postmarked by Election Day to be counted; they must be received by Nov. 17. 

The 2020 general election is Nov. 3.

RELATED: More than 1 million people in Illinois have requested mail-in ballots, election board says

RELATED: Illinois governor signs legislation to expand voting by mail