No Excuse Absentee Voting

Bottom Line

Current legislation referenced (HB 1665) would allow all properly registered Missourians to vote by absentee-mail-in-ballot without listing an excuse. We would like to add onto this legislation and replace the Notary requirement with a signature comparison process.

Key Details

Legislation: HB 1665

Fiscal impact: Less than $100,000

Progress in prior session: Referred to Elections and Elected Officials Committee

Republican States with Similar Legislation: UT, AK, AZ, GA, ID, KS, MT, NE, NC, ND, OK


  • Missourians can vote 3 ways:
    • Go to polling place on the day of the election
    • Vote early in-person at a local election authority office
    • Vote absentee with a mail in ballot that is notarized
  • Missouri is 1 of 3 state (MO, AK, AL) that require a notarized signature on a mail-in-absentee ballot
    • Other ways of verifying mail in ballots include; verifying that the ballot envelope has been signed, requiring a witness signature as well as a voter signature, requiring a photocopy of an ID sent with ballot, and comparing the signature on the ballot with the one on file.
  • Missouri is one of 16 states that requires citizens to have an excuse to absentee or by mail. The valid excuses include:
    • Absent on election day from my voting jurisdiction
    • Incapacity due to illness or physical disability, including caring for a person who is incapacitated
    • Religious belief or practice
    • Employment as an election authority at a location other than my polling place
    • Incarceration
    • Certified participation in the address confidentiality program
    • I have contracted or am in a at-risk category for contracting COVID-19 (*temporary addition)

Relevance to the UM System Student Body

  • Students often do not live in their registered district
  • If students do live in their district but are at work or in class during voting hours, they would have to perjure themselves to vote absentee.
  • COVID-19 concerns (have been addressed for this coming election but needs to be addressed for all future health concerns.
  • Finding a notary is confusing and daunting