elections

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

City voters may have noticed something new at their polling place last week. Tuesday marked the first time elections officials used iPads at every precinct to check in voters.

The city launched a pilot program in a third of its precincts in August 2014. Mary Wheeler-Jones, the Democratic director of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners, said they allow the city to eliminate the large binders of paper, which streamlines the check-in process.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI | 2012 photo

Updated 12:36 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4 with comments from the Kirkwood School District. Voters in locations throughout St. Louis had a variety of issues to decide at the polls Tuesday, including a special election for a state House district.

Mehlville schools got support for a tax hike, while Kirkwood’s efforts were defeated. The Mehlville proposition will raise rates by 49 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. It passed with 17,905 for and 6,783 against. The Kirkwood measure would have added 78 cents to the school levy. It went down 6,884 to 4,776.

Provided by candidate

Amid their hunt for a bunch of statewide candidates, Missouri Democrats now have at least one well-known contender for secretary of state:  former KMOV reporter Robin Smith.

Smith, who just retired from her 40-year TV career, announced Sunday that she plans to run for the statewide post — which will be open in the 2016 election because Democratic incumbent Jason Kander for running for the U.S. Senate.

(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

It’s been more than two weeks since St. Louis County’s municipal elections. But the counting in some jurisdictions continues – and may not end until this summer. Two elections even ended in a tie.

The county Board of Election Commissioners is also involved in a fight in Kinloch, where some city officials are refusing to swear in the April 7 victors, including a new mayor. The victors have been planning to oust their critics.

A voter enters Our Lady of Guadalupe School on election day in Ferguson.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

Democrat Kevin O’Leary has won his campaign for the 6th District seat on the St. Louis County Council, replacing now-County Executive Steve Stenger and retaining their party's 5-2 seat edge.

The contest, like so many others around the region, appeared to hinge on organization to counter a low turnout. With most of the county's votes counted, pre-election estimates appeared correct: Only 16 percent of the county's voters showed up at the polls.

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7)

In low turnout elections, organization matters.

The victors often are the ones who have the best crews of volunteers to pound on doors, circulate the fliers and make the phone calls needed to persuade their identified supportive voters to show up.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

The outcome of East St. Louis’s mayoral election next month could play a major role in the city’s efforts to boost economic development and public safety. One key issue in the race involves the operating hours of the city’s late-night clubs and liquor stores.

Two-term incumbent Alvin Parks Jr. wants to allow the businesses stay open until at least 6 a.m. to generate extra tax revenue. Parks' name has been taken off the ballot by a court, but he's still running.

voxefxtm | Flickr

As the calendar turns to 2015, the national political scene is already focusing on 2016. As politicians set up strategies and start to explore their options the baseline concerns are who will vote and how will they cast their ballots? To answer these questions, one must look at patterns. Generally speaking, the party that does not hold the presidency scores some gains. This time the gains were substantial enough to turn the Senate over to the Republicans and to keep that party dominant in statehouses across the country.

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro,
St. Louis Public Radio file photo

While the leading candidates for one of the nation’s most competitive Congressional races agreed that the economy and jobs were the top issue facing the 12th Congressional District.

In back-to-back interviews Thursday on “St. Louis on the Air,” state Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, and U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, made their cases for the seat, which encompasses portions of the Metro East and southern Illinois, but clashed on whether climate change is real.

Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio

Republican Rick Stream says he’s aiming his first and only TV ad for St. Louis County executive at fellow Republicans, not his rivals, in an effort to discourage GOP voters from participating next Tuesday in the Democratic primary.

“We wanted Republicans to get the idea that we have a solid, viable candidate,’’ said Stream about his ad, which began airing Tuesday.

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Story hour at Kirkwood Public Library had a guest reader on Thursday. Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander stopped by as part of a tour spotlighting the early literacy initiative "Racing to Read."

Earlier this year, public libraries throughout Missouri were invited to apply for a portion of the $300,000 in federal funds set aside by the Secretary of State’s office to help children enter Kindergarten ready to learn to read.

Voting booths
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to two measures to establish early voting, also known as "advance voting."

The first, House Joint Resolution 90, would allow for early voting if voters pass a proposed constitutional amendment. The second is the implementing bill, HB 2271.  

(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

Tuesday is Election Day throughout the region, and voters will be asked to decide on local leaders, school board members and tax and bond issues.

While there are few high-profile races or issues on the ballot,  several school board races are expected to be particularly consequential.

Voting booths
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

The news focus on Tuesday's Illinois primary has largely been on statewide or congressional races. However, issues and local races are also important. For those in the area who are looking for a clean list of what they will find on their ballots, different counties have different options.

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

The Missouri House has passed two pieces of legislation that would usher in photo ID requirements for voters.

First, the House passed HJR 47, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow for photo ID requirements at the polls. This proposed amendment would also need voter approval.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Lawmakers in Missouri will continue working on several issues this summer and fall in preparation for next year's legislative session.

Midway through today's polling, St. Louis County Democratic elections director Joe Donahue is slightly revising his turnout projects -- downward.

Donahue estimated early this afternoon that the countywide pace appears to be on track for a final turnout of 18-20 percent of the county's 600,000-plus registered voters. That's down from his initial projection of about 25 percent, which was in line with the state's estimate.