KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson issued an executive order Wednesday, which pushes back the April 7 municipal elections nearly two months.
All elections previously scheduled for that day will now take place June 2 as a precaution amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision came after dozens of election boards across the state petitioned for judicial relief in moving the election date.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft formally requested Parson change to date, which he did with Executive Order 20-03.
Only voters who turned 18 “by April 7 will be allowed to cast a ballot,” according to Parson’s order, which also allows ballots already printed for the upcoming election may be used on the June 2.
“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 said in a statement. “Postponing an election is not easy, but we are all in this together. We are thankful to Secretary Ashcroft and our 116 election authorities for their leadership, cooperation, and commitment to doing what is best for their communities during this time.”
Ashcroft thanked Parson for taking quick action in a statement and also praised “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.”
The last day to register for the election, March 11, hasn’t changed and the deadline to file as a write-in candidate remains 5 p.m. on March 27.
However, the new deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is May 20, while early voting must wrap up by 5 p.m. on June 1. All absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on June 2.
Military and overseas ballots must be available by April 18 and must be requested by 5 p.m. on May 29. Those ballots must be received by June 5.
Voting equipment will be tested by June 1 under the new order.