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story.lead_photo.caption A voting machine is seen at the Southridge Baptist Church polling place in Jefferson City during elections on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Photo by Julie Smith / Fulton Sun.
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Missouri's municipal elections slated for April 7 have been postponed.

Gov. Mike Parson today signed an executive order rescheduling the elections for June 2, according to a news release from his office. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft requested the delay in response to the governor's earlier state of emergency declaration concerning the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The new executive order declares that ballots already printed for the April 7 election may be used at the postponed date of June 2. Voters who have attained the age of 18 by April 7 will be allowed to cast a ballot. 

"Given the growing concern surrounding COVID-19 and the large number of people elections attract, postponing Missouri's municipal elections is a necessary step to help combat the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of Missouri voters," Parson stated. "Postponing an election is not easy, but we are all in this together."

"I deeply appreciate Gov. Parson's quick approval and am thankful to the local election authorities your county clerks and boards of election who have worked through developing health concerns to find a unified and secure means of implementing our next election," stated Ashcroft. "Missouri has 116 separate election authorities, almost all who are elected in their own right, and we have come together to help protect Missouri voters. These are difficult times, but I am grateful for how we have responded, worked together and come to a resolution that helps every single Missouri voter."

According to the news release, Section 44.100, RSMo, provides that during a state of emergency, the governor is authorized to "waive or suspend the operation of any statutory requirement or administrative rule prescribing procedures for conducting state business, where strict compliance with such requirements and rules would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action by the department of health and senior services to respond to a declared emergency or increased health threat to the population."

The executive order requires local election authorities to publish notice of the new election date. In addition, it states:

  • The closing date to register to vote in this election remains March 11.
  • The deadline for filing as a write-in candidate for office remains March 27 at 5 p.m.
  • The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot shall be May 20.
  • A public test of voting equipment shall be completed no later than June 1.
  • In-person absentee ballots may be cast until 5 p.m. on June 1.
  • The deadline by which absentee ballots must be received by the election authority shall be 7 p.m. on June 2.
  • Military and overseas voters must request a ballot from an election authority by 5 p.m. on May 29, and the deadline for local election authorities to make ballots available to such voters is April 18. Military and overseas ballots must be received by the election authority by June 5.
  • Local election authorities are also directed to post information on their website, use social media if available, issue press release, conduct public appearances, and directly contact stakeholders such as candidates.
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