COLUMBIA - There are only six weeks until the Missouri's general municipal election on April 6. Beginning Feb. 23, in-person absentee voting will be available across the state.

Missouri county clerk offices will open its doors to absentee voters to prepare for the April election. These voters will be able to vote ahead of time, but they will also need to state why they need to cast an absentee ballot.

Unlike the November 2020 election, COVID-19 is not a valid reason for opting in for an absentee ballot.

Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon said the county saw a significant increase in the number of absentee voters in November election.

"Including those absentee voters, the county had an overall 70% voter participation rate," Lennon said.

Lennon said April elections don't typically see as strong of a voter turnout as national elections but stresses that they're still just as important.

"One of the things about an April election is that there are so many races because it's the local level and so these races apply to a lot of people who live in school districts or within city boundaries," Lennon said.

Columbia voters will elect two new members to the Board of Education and council members for the second and sixth ward. Boone County voters will also be able to vote in a special election for the state representative for the 45th legislative district.

Lennon recommended that those who have moved within Columbia boundaries or are new to the city should double-check that they are registered with their current address prior to voting. Voter registration closes March 10. 

Missouri voters who are interested in voting absentee in-person, will need to do so before April 5, the day before the election. For those who are eligible for absentee voting but can't make it into the office will need to request an absentee ballot by March 24.

Lennon also noted that in-person absentee voters won't require their ballots to be notarized, but mail-in ballots will.

As of 2020, there are nearly 500 available notary locations across the state.

Receive the top KOMU 8 News headlines of the day in your inbox.