Be a mensch and vote!
As Jews, is it important to vote?
As partners with God in the act of fixing the world (tikkun olam), Jews believe that we have a very holy and real purpose in making the world a better place. Part of that is the responsibility to play an active role in the wider community and in choosing its leaders.
Historically, Jews have understood that wherever we live as citizens, we are bound in contract with that society, and we have to do what we can for the public good, even beyond what directly impacts us as a Jewish community. That’s why American Jews especially have always valued the right and responsibility of participating in the political process. We vote not just because of “Jewish issues” like Israel and Middle-East policy, but because we know that every election brings opportunities to make our entire society stronger, healthier, and better for the greater good.
In Pirkei Avot, “You do not need to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.” We know that no single election may change the world, but every election is important, and we are not free to stand idly by. As Jews – and as citizens – we are obligated to get to the polls and vote, and to help others do the same.
Make a Plan to Vote
Use these Voter Checklists for St. Louis County and St. Louis City to make a plan to vote in the November 3 general election.
Voting during COVID-19:
(June 8, 2020) Governor Mike Parson signed new absentee voting legislation for the upcoming August and November elections, which offers multiple scenarios to vote absentee. If you are confined to your home, ill, at high risk for COVID-19, or already registered as an absentee voter, you are eligible to vote using an absentee ballot, and notarization is not required. All other Missouri voters may vote by mail in 2020, but the ballot must be notarized.
Absentee ballot or mail in ballot, which is right for you?
If you want to vote either absentee or by mail your first step is to submit a request for a ballot.
Access the form to request a ballot here: https://www.sos.mo.gov/CMSImages/ElectionGoVoteMissouri/2020FillableBallotApplication-GeneralElection.pdf
Absentee and mail in ballot requests for the November general election must be received by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
Requested absentee and mail in ballots will begin being mailed out to voters September 22.
There are seven options when requesting an absentee ballot, and you must select one. In addition to all the traditional reasons a voter might vote absentee, there is a COVID specific option - voter has contracted or is in an at risk category for COVID-19. At risk voters are individuals who:
• Are 65 years of age or older
• Have serious heart conditions
• Are immunocompromised
• Have liver disease
• Live in a long-term care facility
• Have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
• Have chronic kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis
• Have diabetes
If this applies to you, you may vote absentee WITHOUT A NOTARY.
Other excuses can apply for voting absentee, but the ballot envelope MUST BE NOTARIZED.
Vote by Mail
All registered voters in Missouri can vote by mail in 2020, but the ballot envelope MUST BE NOTARIZED.
Need a notary?
TI members and notaries Amy Lampert and Erin Schneider are offering their services for free. Contact them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, the Secretary of State has a growing list of notaries across the state at: https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/MailinNotary
Election Day Information:
**New this election, voters registered in STL County can vote at any polling location!**
- If a voter requested but never RECEIVED an absentee or mail-ballot, they may complete a “Lost Ballot Affidavit” at the polls and vote a REGULAR ballot at the polls.
- If a voter received an absentee or mail ballot but never sent it back in, they may bring that unsent ballot to the polls with them, surrender (“spoil”) that ballot (i.e., cancel their absentee or mail ballot) and vote a REGULAR ballot at the polls. (voters may not turn in completed mail ballots at the poll; they'll need to surrender/cancel that ballot)
- If the voter received an absentee or mail ballot, lost it and never sent it back in, they may complete a “Lost Ballot Affidavit” at the polls.
- As a last resort, a voter may cast a PROVISIONAL ballot. The provisional would be counted as long as the voter’s absentee/mail ballot was never sent in.
Here are some steps you can take to fulfill your Jewish obligation and to make sure your voice is heard.
REGISTER TO VOTE OR CONFIRM YOU’RE REGISTERED TO VOTE:
IF YOU CAN’T GET TO THE POLLS, REGISTER AS A PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER:
If you are elderly, disabled, have trouble standing in line, or otherwise have trouble getting to the polls, you will qualify for permanent absentee voting. Specific disabilities are not defined in the STL County Election Board statute. Print and mail this application form, and an absentee ballot will be mailed to your address prior to each election.
BECOME A VOTER POLL VOLUNTEER
One of the best ways to ensure a free and fair election is to support the process by signing up as a poll volunteer and assisting others to vote.
For more in-depth information on registering to vote and voting from The League of Women Voters of Metro St. Louis, visit http://www.lwvstl.org/, or pick up a pamphlet at TI’s main office information wall.