lori lamprich, left, notarizes a ballot at urban eats photo courtesy of crossgrand photography

St. Louis restaurants are offering free ballot notary services so there’s no excuse not to vote

The STL Notary Coordination is partnering with local businesses, including many restaurants, to provide free notarization services for the community in the upcoming election. This group of volunteers is working in conjunction with the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition to connect businesses and nonprofits to volunteer notaries. These efforts ensure free and safe notarization services throughout the St. Louis area to voters with absentee and mail-in ballots.

Volunteer Beth Sturgeon is active within the group because of her concern for the upcoming election in the midst of the current state of the world.

“I'm worried about our elections; I’m worried about them in a pandemic,” Sturgeon said. “This year, it’s so important that we have voting by mail because it’s a global pandemic and there’s this hurdle that voters have to go through to get their ballots notarized. I am determined to make it as easy as possible for people to vote safely.”

The volunteers are equipped with information to proofread ballot envelopes to ensure they will be approved.

“In this world we’re living in, we’re all voting by mail, and there are all these state requirements that have to be entered on to the ballot envelope for it to be accepted,” Sturgeon said. “The notaries are sort of this other set of eyes to make sure the ballot envelope is filled out appropriately so it gets accepted.”

Urban Eats Neighborhood FoodHall and Urban Eats Kitchen Incubator is a local restaurant working with STL Notary Coordination to get ballots notarized. The local community is what drives co-owner Caya Aufiero this election season.

“I express my own politics at the neighborhood level,” Aufiero said. “I try to make a difference in my own neighborhood. We’re just trying to make change happen where we are.”

Along with connecting volunteers to businesses, the STL Notary Coordination is also active in informing the public on what businesses are doing within efforts to notarize ballots.

“We’ve got two things going,” Sturgeon said. “We’re coordinating with businesses to get notaries into the businesses and connecting notaries to them but we’re also publicizing businesses that are doing it on their own.”

The Pat Connolly Tavern is another one of the local businesses that has partnered with the STL Notary Coordination. Owner Joe Jovanovich has appreciated the opportunity to assist the community. 

“It’s a great initiative, and I’m glad we’re involved with it,” Jovanovich said. “We want to do whatever we can to help make their lives easier. We wanted to help do our part.”

As Election Day (Nov. 3) draws nearer, Sturgeon encourages potential voters to be diligent.

“I would advocate to voters that you’ve got to be really proactive this year and spend some time figuring out how to vote and what’s on your ballot,” Sturgeon said. “The good news is that there are a ton of organizations who are really trying to help people navigate this.”

If you would like to request an absentee or mail-in ballot, requests must be received by 5 p.m. today, Wednesday, Oct. 21. 
• St. Louis City Board of Elections: 314.622.4336 (Absentee Voting: 314.622.3230)
• St. Louis County Board of Elections: 314.615.1800 (Absentee Voting: 314.615.1833)

Below is a list of food-related businesses offering notarization services through the STL Notary Coordination. (If times are not listed, they vary each day.) For a more comprehensive list, including more times and non-food businesses, click here.

Urban Eats Neighborhood FoodHall
Oct. 21 to 23 // 3301 Meramec St., St. Louis, 314.665.2464, urbaneatscafe.com

The Pat Connolly Tavern
Oct. 21 and Oct. 23 to 25 // 6400 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, 314.647.7287, patconnollytavern.com

Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery
Oct. 21 to 22 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. // 1629 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.6111, union-loafers-cafe-and-bread-bakery.square.site

Maypop Coffee & Garden Shop
Oct. 24 – 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. // 803 Marshall Ave., St. Louis, 314.764.2140, maypopshop.com

Living Room 
Oct. 21 to 23  – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. // 2808 Sutton Blvd., St. Louis, 314.899.0173, livingroomstl.com

Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery
Oct. 22 – 4 to 6 p.m. // 1637 S. 18th St., St. Louis, 314.858.6100, clementinescreamery.com

Tick Tock Tavern
Oct. 22 and 29 – 4 to 11 p.m. // 3459 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, Facebook: Tick Tock Tavern

Virginia Avenue Community Orchard
Oct. 21 to 22 – 6 to 7:30 p.m. // 3005 Virginia Ave., St. Louis, orchardonvirginia.wordpress.com

Yaquis on Cherokee
Oct. 23 to 24 and Oct. 30 to 31 – 5 to 8 p.m. // 2728 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.400.7712, yaquispizza.com 

Rooster Downtown
Oct. 24 to 25 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. // 1104 Locust St., St. Louis, 314.241.8118, roosterstl.com

Rooster South Grand
Oct. 24 to 25 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. // 3150 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.772.3447, roosterstl.com

Baileys’ Range
Oct. 24 to 25 – 6 to 8 p.m. // 920 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.241.8121, baileysrange.com

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