As the election grows nearer, we feel there has never been a better time to become informed about the ballot. We consider the ability to vote and participate in electing officials to be a great honor, and part of that honor is informing ourselves about all of the issues on the ballot. While the specific content of your ballot will depend on the location you are registered to vote, there are several nationwide and statewide races to begin considering. At the end of this post, please see links to additional resources to give you the most thorough information to prepare to vote.
The following abbreviations represent the party affiliation of the candidates:
REP - Republican
DEM - Democrat
LIB - Libertarian
GRN - Green Party
CST - Constitution Party
President and Vice President - The election with the most media coverage is the presidential race. Come election day, most voters already know who they plan to vote for based on partisanship or debates. This year, the choices on the ballot are:
Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence (REP)
Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris (DEM)
Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen (LIB)
Howie Hawkins and Angela Nicole Walker (GRN)
Don Blankenship and William Mohr (CST)
Governor - This year, the gubernatorial race is competitive. Incumbent Mike Parsons (REP) is seeking reelection after former Governor Eric Greitens resigned due to a scandal. One of his challengers, Nicole Galloway (DEM), has a strong base of supporters, which is making the race competitive and interesting. Also on the ballot for this position are Rik Combs (LIB) and Jerome Howard Bauer (GRN).
Lieutenant Governor - Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor serves as both a member of the executive and legislative branches. The Lieutenant Governor is second-in-command to the Governor, and presides as president of the Missouri senate. Mike Kehoe (REP) is the current Lieutenant Governor, and he is challenged by Alissia Canady (DEM), Bill Slantz (LIB), and Kelley Dragoo (GRN).
Secretary of State - According to the State of Missouri’s website, “The Secretary of State is the chief elections official in Missouri, bearing responsibility for administration of statewide elections involving both issues and individuals.” John R. (Jay) Ashcroft (REP) is the current Secretary of State, and he is running for a second term. Four individuals are challenging his run: Yinka Faleti (DEM), Carl Herman Freese (LIB), Paul Lehmann (GRN), and Paul Venable (CST).
State Treasurer - The State Treasurer oversees the revenue and investments of Missouri. They also are responsible for overseeing payments to outside entities and balancing the state’s accounts. Incumbent Scott Fitzpatrick (REP) is running for reelection. He is contested by Vicki Lorenz Englund (DEM), Nicholas (Nick) Kasoff (LIB), and Joseph Civenttni (GRN).
Attorney General - Missouri’s Attorney General represents the state in court. This individual can appear as either a prosecutor or defense attorney when Missouri is a party in a case, in both criminal and civil court. Eric Schmitt (REP) was appointed by Gov. Parson in 2019 after former Attorney General Josh Hawley was elected to Congress. Challenging Schmitt are Rich Finneran (DEM) and Kevin C. Babcock (LIB).
Note - Two positions that are elected at the state level that do not appear on this ballot are United States Senator and State Auditor. These positions are not currently up for reelection, which is why they are not listed above.
Depending on the year and your location, local races will appear on your ballot. Visit Ballotpedia to see a sample ballot specific to your registration address. These races include the following positions: United States Representatives (district specific), State Representative (district specific), County positions like Clerk, Assessor, Auditor, Commissioner, Sheriff, Treasurer, and Public Administrator. As Gena Ross is running for United States Representative for District 6, this is where she will appear on the ballot!
Amendments - There are typically also amendments to Missouri’s constitution that require the public’s vote. These appear near the end of the ballot, and usually contain a short description of what is proposed. We encourage you to research these constitutional amendments before election day, as the wording on the ballot can be confusing or misleading. One of the issues on this year's ballot is Amendment 3. We wrote a blog post explaining why this amendment is bad for Missouri, read it here!
The Judicial Ballot - A section of the ballot that can be confusing if research isn’t done prior to voting is the judicial ballot. A list of judges at various levels is given, and the ballot asks if each judge should be retained in office or not. Since no party affiliation is listed along with the judge’s names, as they are non-partisan officials, many voters vote “yes” to all or leave these questions blank. The judicial ballot is important, as these are the people we trust to enforce the laws of our cities and state. To decide whether or not to retain the judges on your ballot, you can consult Ballotpedia. This will allow you to see which governor appointed the judge, how long they have been in office, and other facts about them.
Missouri M.A.D.E., an organization we have mentioned before, published their guide to women on the ballot across Missouri. This PDF has information about each candidate’s party affiliation, campaign platform, and ways to contact the candidate’s campaign.
The State of Missouri’s website has a wealth of information, specifically about what each position on the ballot does in the government. This is particularly good information for new voters, or voters that are looking for more information about the offices themselves.
Ballotpedia provides a look at your specific sample ballot, as well as information about the candidates that appear on it. This link takes you to their sample ballot form (see image above) which allows you to see the officials and issues on the ballot before Election Day by providing the address you are registered to vote at.
This list is not exhaustive. There is a large amount of information surrounding the election, and for new or unexperienced voters, the idea of the ballot can be daunting. If you have any specific questions about something that appears on your ballot, tweet us @Ross4Congress or leave a comment below. You can also contact us through the form on the "About Us" page above. Join us as we prepare to vote for representatives that care about the wellbeing of their constituents - the countdown to real, lasting change is on!