INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A new law that went into effect this year is changing when Missourians can go to the polls to vote.

The law allows for a two-week period before election day where Missourians can vote in person, absentee, and no excuse is necessary. 

That two-week period started Tuesday, so Jackson County election workers both in Kansas City, Missouri and outside of it were working with voters to make sure everything went smoothly. As long as you’re a registered voter, you can show up at a designated location with your official ID and fill out a ballot. The law passed this year was meant to strengthen election laws.

“It definitely takes the pressure off of polling places on election day,” Kansas City Election Board Co-Director Shawn Kieffer said. “That’s the big thing that we see. We don’t like to have voters bombarding our election-day workers. We like to give them time to process voters properly and make sure everyone is taken care of.”

The Kansas City Election Board only deals with voters in the city limits in Jackson County. Everyone else in Jackson County votes through the Jackson County Election Board. 

The line was nearly out the door early Tuesday afternoon at the county absentee office, at 110 N Liberty Street in Independence.

That’s where any registered voter in the JCEB can now vote in person, absentee, with no excuse needed up until Nov. 7.

“One day we did 120,” JCEB Co-Director Tammy Brown said of the number of people they had come vote with an excuse necessary earlier this fall. “We probably did 120 by 10 a.m. Tuesday, so it’s quadrupled.”

The line didn’t bother people like Leatha Ingram who found in-person absentee voting without an excuse helpful. 

“We’re seniors,” Ingram said. “My husband has a bad back, so standing in a long line on a regular election day just doesn’t work for us even though if we had to, we would. We’re here because it’s more convenient. The lines are shorter, and we just want to go ahead and cast our vote”

The JCEB’s also asks people to look at their sample ballot before they go to the polls, so you are spending less time actually voting to keep the lines moving. They have a QR code here which will direct you to their website where you can find your sample ballot for your individual jurisdiction. 

The JCEB Absentee Office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It’s open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays until Nov. 7.

When it comes to people in Kansas City in Jackson County, voters can vote at Union Station, the United Believers Community Church, and The Whole Person. In Clay and Platte County, voters can vote at their county election offices before election day. In Cass County, you can vote at the county clerk’s office up until Monday, Nov. 7. 

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