Getting to a traditional polling place for someone living with a disability may be more difficult, but officials want everyone to get the chance to cast their ballot one way or another.
There are plenty of options to make sure your vote is counted in the general election being held on Tuesday, Nov. 3. The standard way is to show up at a polling location. According to state law in Missouri, employers must allow people up to three hours to vote.
For those living with a disability, that may be more difficult. Midland Empire Resources for Independent Living CEO Rob Honan said polls are required to help.
“If you want to go the poll, and actually, if you have a disability, they’re supposed to accommodate you,” Honan said. “If they need to read the ballot to you, they are required to do that.
Sometimes the easier option is to request a ballot by mail. That request must be received by the local election office by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21.
The first absentee and mail-in ballots go out on Sept. 22. The difference between the two is the mail-in ballot has to be notarized and can requested by anyone. Absentee ballots do not require a notary, but are only granted to voters 65 years of age or older or to those who have a serious heart conditions and other health-related issues. Those who will be out of town because of work also can vote absentee by appearing at the courthouse, 411 Jules St., prior to Nov. 3.
MERIL is making a notary available to those with mail-in ballots, but it’s recommended individuals call to schedule a time to meet at their facility, 4420 S. 40th St.
“Give us a call at 816-279-8558,” Honan said. “Curbside voting is another option.”
To make a request for curbside voting, call the Buchanan County Clerk’s office at 816-271-1412.
All polling locations are supposed to be ADA compliant, and in Buchanan County that’s the case, although sometimes the entrance is different. For example, voters who cannot walk down stairs at the Brookdale Church polling location can go in a separate entrance located on Edmond Street.
“Educate yourself by calling the county clerk or the Missouri Secretary of State’s office,” Honan said. “We also have information here at MERIL about that.”
There is still time left to register to vote. Call the county clerk’s office to find out how to do so, or go to sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/register.aspx to submit an online registration.