Election Day: What to know before heading to the polls

KCMO Elections
Posted at 7:05 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 06:37:22-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Voters who haven't signed, sealed and delivered their absentee or mail-in ballots, will likely head to the polls on Tuesday to vote.

Here are common questions about voting, including what to bring and what cannot be worn.

Am I registered to vote? Where is my polling place?

Residents can check to see if they are registered to vote by visiting the Missouri or Kansas Secretary of State’s website:

Each website will list a resident's status and state where their polling location is located. Sample ballots also are available.

What times are polls open in Missouri and Kansas?

All Missouri polling locations will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In Kansas, state law requires polling locations to open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Counties are allowed to open polling locations earlier.

Johnson County will open polling locations at 6 a.m., while Wyandotte County will open polling sites at 7 a.m.

What if I’m in line when polls close, but I have not voted?

Voters who are in line by 7 p.m., can stay in line. Both Missouri and Kansas allowed residents to vote so long as they are in line when the polls close.

What do I need to bring with me?

In Missouri and Kansas, voters must bring a form of ID, otherwise voting must occur with a provision ballot. The type of ID depends on where voters live.

The following forms of identification are acceptable in Missouri:

  • ID issued by the state of Missouri or the U.S. government;
  • ID issued by a local election authority;
  • ID from a Missouri university, college, vocational or technical school;
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter.

In Kansas, the following forms of identification are accepted:

  • Driver’s license;
  • State identification card;
  • Concealed carry permit;
  • ID issued by the U.S. government;
  • ID from accredited postsecondary institution in Kansas;
  • Public assistance ID;
  • Tribal ID.

Do I need to wear a mask?

Election officials in both Missouri and Kansas are encouraging voters to wear a mask at their polling place. Voters are not required to, so they will not be turned away if not to wearing a mask.

What can’t I wear to my polling place?

Missouri and Kansas both have laws prohibiting electioneering, which means voters can’t wear anything election-related that campaigns for or against a candidate or a ballot question at a polling place.

Political masks, shirts, hats, buttons or any other apparel that advocates for or against a political candidate or issue is prohibited. Voters will either be asked to cover up the apparel or come back with the items removed.

Missouri state law prohibits firearms inside of polling places. Law enforcement officials might be inside the polling place, so long as they have permission of election authorities are in the line of duty.

In Kansas, both voters and poll agents with a permit can carry a concealed firearm at some precincts.

What if I am turned away from voting at the polls?

Those whose names are not in the poll book of registered voters, or who forgot their ID, might be turned away. Before leaving the polling place, request to vote on a provisional ballot.

Provisional ballots allow you to fill out a ballot on Election Day. Election officials will investigate whether you are registered to vote. If you are, your vote will be counted.

Can I take a picture of my ballot?

Missouri prohibits voters from sharing their ballot with others, which is why voters are not allowed to take photos inside their polling place.

Kansas does not have a law that specifically prohibits “ballot selfies.”

What to do if there is a problem?

Missouri voters who encounter issues or have questions on Election Day are encouraged to contact their local election authority or call the Secretary of State’s office at 800-669-8683.

Kansas voters who encounter issues or have questions on Election Day are encouraged to contact their local election authority on Election Day or file a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office within 30 days after an incident.