There is a new seventh absentee excuse for the 2020 election cycle. If you fall into any of the at-risk areas listed below, you can request that an absentee ballot be mailed to your home and you are not required to leave your home for a notary, according to Susette Taylor, Atchison County Clerk.

Follow the instructions you receive with your ballot and return it free of charge to the county clerk’s office. You must call her office at 660-744-6214 and make your request by 4:30 p.m. on July 22. Anyone who answers can assist you. After that date you can vote in person or curbside at the Atchison County Courthouse.

Absentee ballots can be requested for one of the following reasons (notary is required unless specifically noted below):

• Absence on Election Day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which you are registered

• Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including caring for a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability. (No notary required.)

• Religious belief or practice

• Employment as an election authority or by an election authority at a location other than my polling place

• Incarceration, although you have retained all the necessary qualifications for voting

• Certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under sections 589.660 to 589.681, RSMo., because of safety concerns

• You have contracted or are in an at-risk category for contracting or transmitting severe acute respiratory syndrome, coronavirus 2 (COVID-19), pursuant to Section 115.277.6, RSMo. (No notary required.)

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 licensed under Chapter 198, RSMo.

• Have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

• Have chronic kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis

• Have diabetes

If you request an absentee ballot, this form may be returned to your local election authority in person, by mail, by fax, or by email.