Politics
3:10 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Voting Officials Highlight Key Dates For Election Season

The St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners held a press conference today to remind voters of important dates and changes in the voting process.

The board is preparing for a special election next week to replace Alderman Gregory Carter, who was killed in a traffic accident Aug. 1. Carter served the 27th ward for 19 years.

The election to find an alderman will take place Oct. 16. Officials couldn’t wait until the Nov. 6 general election because of a rule in the city charter that requires a vote be taken if a seat is vacated over 180 days before the next election.

Gary Stoff is the Republican Director for the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. He said planning this special election didn’t take away from their preparations for the presidential election.

“We separately test the machines for Ward 27,” Stoff said. “We send those machines out. We specially train those poll workers. But as soon as those machines come back in, we’ll reprogram them for Nov. 6”

Voters were also urged to double-check where they should cast their ballots next month. Changes due to redistricting caused a few problems for voters in the August primaries.

Stoff said that voters should pay special attention to their Notice of Election cards that will arrive by mail in the next couple of weeks with details on where to vote.

“Be sure that you go to the right polling place,” Stoff said. “And that may seem self-evident, but with redistricting, a lot of lines have changed. Wards and precincts have changed and in some instances a voter’s polling place has changed.”

The Notice of Election cards can be used as a form of identification at the polls, along with a social security card, a student ID from a Missouri school or even a bill with a current name and address.

Stoff also put out a call for more volunteers to work the polls. He said there was a near 77 percent turnout for the presidential election in 2008 and expects a similar one this year.

  • The last day to register to vote in the general election is this Wednesday, Oct. 10.
  • The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is Oct. 31, and
  • The last day vote absentee in person is the day before the election on Nov. 5.

Stoff listed several reasons why someone would qualify to vote absentee, including being out of their district on the day of the vote, having a religious objection to voting on that day or being incarcerated.

Follow Tina Eaton on Twitter: @KristinaEaton