Morning headlines: Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Charles County caucus likely to be rescheduled

The Republican caucus in St. Charles County is likely to be rescheduled after a weekend dispute forced the caucus to be shut down.

The caucus in St. Peters on Saturday ended when tension flared between members of the crowd and the local Republican activists who were running it. St. Charles County was to have been among the biggest prizes in Missouri. The meeting adjourned without awarding delegates.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that when the caucus will be rescheduled is unclear, but St. Charles County Republicans are working to salvage their role in the presidential nominee selection process.

STL County voters to decide April 3 whether to approve bonds for new court buildings

Proposition S asks whether the county can issue $100 million in bonds to replace the county Courthouse and the Family Justice Center.

Attorney Tom Lang with the group Citizens for Safe Courts and Kids says they've been trying to educate residents about why new buildings are needed.

"Virtually every group that you go out and actually talk to and let them see and understand what we're talking about, or better yet if they go up and are actually are in the courthouse, they understand the issue and they understand that now is the time to take care of it and it won't cost us any additional money," said Lang.

Lang says there would be no tax increase for county residents as the bonds would replace others that will be retired within the next 18 months.

The two buildings are both more than 40 years old and Lang says they're no longer meeting security needs or modern fire codes.

Romney and Santorum campaign in Illinois ahead of Tuesday primary

While polls show a tight race in Illinois between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, the former Massachusetts governor is poised to win the state's delegate battle -- even if he doesn't win the popular vote. But Santorum isn't giving up ahead of tomorrow's primary. He's spending the next two days courting Illinois voters and plans to host four separate rallies today.

Meanwhile, some voters in western Illinois may get to use new technology on Tuesday. Four polling places in Quincy will be testing out electronic poll books during the state's primary election. That means that voters will sign in on an electronic pad instead of paper.

The Quincy Herald-Whig reports the four polling places with the electronic books include Salem Evangelical Church and Quincy University.

Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm says the electronic system is optional for voters and they can still use the paper poll books if they want.