Howard County, Missouri Elections

How to Vote by Absentee

All registered voters in Howard County can absentee vote. You can ask to get your ballot in the mail, or in person for the elections.

Who Can Vote Absentee By Mail

Starting six weeks before an election, if you are a registered Howard County voter who cannot go to your polling place on Election Day, you may choose to vote absentee by mail. You must provide one of the following reasons for voting absentee by mail:

  • Absence on Election Day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which such voter is registered to vote;
  • Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability;
  • Religious belief or practice;
  • Employment as an election authority, as a member of an election authority, or by an election authority at a location other than such voter’s polling place;
  • Incarceration, provided all qualifications for voting are retained.
  • Certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under sections 589.660 to 589.681 because of safety concerns.
  • If you are a United States citizen living overseas or if you are in the Military, there are special provisions for you to register, receive, and return your ballot. Learn more about the military and overseas voting process in Howard County.

Mail Us Your Ballot Application

Starting six weeks before an election, there are two ways to request an absentee ballot in Howard County:

  • In-person: Visit the Howard County Clerk’s office at One Courthouse Square to complete an application to vote absentee. ***The deadline to request to vote absentee in-person is 5:00 pm the Monday before the election.
  • Mail or Fax: Download the Missouri application to vote absentee (PDF). There is also a permanent absentee form (PDF) available to people with disabilities.  Complete the application and return it to the Howard County Clerk’s office at:

Mail:  Howard County Clerk             or                    Fax: (660) 248-9810               
           One Courthouse Square
           Fayette, MO 65248

***The Howard County Clerk’s office must receive your mailed or faxed application by 5:00 pm the 2nd Wednesday prior to the election to mail your ballot.

Complete and Send in Your Ballot

Once your application is processed you will receive a ballot in the mail. Follow the steps below to make sure that your ballot is counted.

Important: You must sign the return envelope and your ballot must be postmarked or received by the election’s office before the polls close at 7:00 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

1.  Mark your ballot

  • Mark your ballot using a dark ballpoint pen.
  • To vote for a candidate, fill in the oval to the left of the candidate’s name of your choice.
  • To vote on any measure, fill in the oval next to the word Yes or the word No.
  • If you make a mistake, you can request a replacement ballot by contacting the election’s office.

2. Review your ballot

  • If you vote for more candidates than allowed or if you vote both Yes and No on a measure, your vote will not count for that candidate or measure.
  • You do not have to vote on all contests. Those you do vote on will still count.
  • Check both sides of your ballot for voting contests.

3. Sign and seal your ballot envelope

  • IMPORTANT: Sign the return envelope or your ballot cannot be counted. 
  • You MUST have your envelope notarized unless you are voting by mail because you have a disability, illness, a caregiver, military or overseas citizen.

4. Returning your ballot 

  • IMPORTANT: If you return your ballot to the Howard County Clerk’s office you must do so at or before 7:00 pm on Election Day.

Per Statute 115.291.1,You or a relative can return your ballot. The relative must be one of the following:

  • Spouse
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Grandparent
  • Brother
  • Sister
  • Grandchild
  • Mother-in-law
  • Father-in-law
  • Daughter-in-law
  • Son-in-law

After your ballot is received

  • When your ballot is received, your signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card. 
  • On Election Day, your ballot will be removed from the envelope and placed in a separate pile from the envelopes to protect your privacy.
  • All verified absentee ballots are counted on Election Day in every election, regardless of the outcome or closeness of any race.
  • Call the Howard County Clerk’s office at (660) 248-2284 after Election Day if you have questions about your absentee ballot.