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Chief Sam Dotson stl police 1.27.15
File photo | Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio intern

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson has ended his run for mayor, just more than a month after it began.

Dotson said in a statement emailed to reporters that he believed he could best serve the city and work to bring down crime by staying on as police chief. "Crime is the No. 1 issue in our city," the statement said. "To combat it, we need less politics, not more. We need fewer divisions and more collaboration."

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Koster, with Senate candidate Jason Kander in the background, and Republican Eric Greitens end their day-before election blitz in St. Louis.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI and Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated with late rallies) - Nothing illustrates the tightness of Missouri’s top contests – and the pivotal role of St. Louis area voters – like dueling rallies held within hours of each other.

So does the last-minute appeals by President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Late Monday, Trump tweeted his support for GOP gubernatorial nominee Eric Greitens. Meanwhile, Obama is appearing in a radio ad and in robocalls for the Democrat running for governor, Chris Koster.

A sign in the window at the downtown office directs veterans to the new benefits office at 9700 Page Ave. in Overland on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

The VA is still working to get the word out to veterans that its regional benefits office has moved from downtown St. Louis to the Prevedel Federal Building at 9700 Page Ave. in Overland.

The VA closed its offices at 400 S. 18th St. on Friday afternoon and reopened Monday morning at the Overland location.  It was a massive move involving about 800 employees, along with representatives of Veterans Service Organizations like the American Legion, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Joseph Bustos, a reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, discussed the 2016 election in Illinois on "St. Louis on the Air."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from Amanda Vinicky, Illinois Public Radio statehouse bureau chief, and Joseph Bustos, a reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, about election issues in Illinois.

Illinois is trending Democratic statewide, carried by a Democratic majority in Chicago, but southern Illinois is trending Republican, said Bustos. That’s not enough to sway the electoral vote, however.

Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies offered their insights into the 2016 election in Missouri on "St. Louis on the Air."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri voters will consider a plethora of issues when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

In addition to casting ballots for president, governor and U.S. Senate, voters will consider myriad ballot measures such as Amendment 3Amendment 6Amendment 4 and Proposition A.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum about what they’re watching prior to the election.

St. Louis resident Jonathan Pulphus votes at Patrick Henry Elementary School on Sept. 16, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s long, weird, sad, contentious, explosive and unpredictable election cycle is almost over.

In roughly 24 hours, Missourians from Tarkio to New Madrid will head to the polls. Beyond registering their presidential preferences, the good people of our state will decide on pivotal U.S. Senate and governor’s races. They’ll also choose who fills out practically and politically important statewide offices and figure out how large the GOP majorities in the Missouri General Assembly will be after January.

The line of St. Louis County voters seeking to cast absentee ballots on Saturday stretched across Deer Creek Plaza shopping center in Maplewood, where the county's only voting office is situated.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

A top St. Louis County elections official says this fall’s absentee balloting is in line with the turnout in 2012, despite the stunning long lines seen outside the county’s only balloting office.

On Saturday, the line of hundreds of potential voters stretched across Deer Creek Plaza, a shopping center that spans several blocks in Maplewood. Voting continued for some time after the 1 p.m. closing, because all voters in line at that time are by law allowed to vote.

Voting stations at a polling place.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

As St. Louis area residents head to the polls Tuesday, some have potential obstacles to overcome — aside from long lines.

For people experiencing homelessness, it can be difficult to register to vote. And according to disability advocacy group Paraquad, accessibility continues to be a problem at some polling places in the region.

A payday loan shop on Natural Bridge Avenue east of Union Boulevard. The high interest rate of payday loans can leave people on the hook for paying more in interest than the original loan.
File photo |Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday gave initial approval to legislation that would put new restrictions on payday lenders in the city.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks with reporters before the start of the presidential debate at Washington University. (Oct. 9, 2016)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill understands why people are fed up with the election. But “that’s no excuse to check out of democracy or give up the freedom we have in our country to decide who our leaders are,” she told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on the Friday before many people will head to the polls on Nov. 8.

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois' 12th congressional district talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 19, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we  heard from Rep. Mike Bost, the Republican incumbent candidate running for Illinois’ 12th congressional district.

Bost is finishing his first two-year term representing the district, which includes parts of the metro east and stretches south to include Carbondale and Cairo. Bost served for many years in the Illinois House of Representatives. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a firefighter.

Illustration by Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is seeing an unprecedented flood of outside money – some of it the hard-to-trace “dark money” – aimed at the state’s candidates for the U.S. Senate and governor.

But there’s a stark contrast between how the money flows into the two contests, because of the difference in federal and state campaign-finance laws.

Every Missouri attorney general since 1969 has sought higher office at the conclusion of their term, just as gubernatorial candidate Chris Koster is doing this year. Even so, the race to be the next attorney general hasn’t received much attention. Perhaps it should; this year’s two major candidates have completely different ideas about what the job even is.

A collage of Missouri statewide and area congressional candidates on 2016 ballot
File photos | St. Louis Public Radio

As this election season finally winds down, St. Louis Public Radio is putting together a lot of the campaign coverage we did this year in the hope that readers can find the information they need before casting their votes. 

St. Louis on the Air hosted a town hall with a proponent and opponent of Missouri's proposed Constitional Amendment 3on Nov. 1, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, St. Louis on the Air hosted a moderated conversation in the Community Room at St. Louis Public Radio about Amendments 3, 4 and 6 as well as Proposition A. This was an effort to inform voters on statewide ballot issues they would see on Nov. 8.

Vinita Park mayor James McGee speaks against proposed standards for polcie departments in St. Louis County in December 2015.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Residents of two North County municipalities will vote on Tuesday whether to become one.

The governing bodies of Vinita Park and Vinita Terrace jointly submitted an application for merger to the St. Louis Boundary Commission in April. That board voted in June to put the merger on the November ballot.

Screen captures from ads by Democrat Chris Koster, top, and Republican Eric Greitens
YouTube

If you think you’re being bombarded with TV ads for Missouri’s governor’s contest, you’re right. The Missouri governor’s race is the top state-level contest in the country, when it comes to ad spending, and ads airing.

That’s according to the Center for Public Integrity, an award-winning nonpartisan nonprofit that tracks political spending. It says that Missouri’s battle for governor, including last summer’s nasty GOP primary, is responsible for about 27 percent of the nation’s TV ads aired for state-level contests this year, and about 13 percent of the ad spending.

St. Louis on the Air hosted a town hall with a proponent and opponent of Missouri's proposed Constitional Proposition A on Nov. 1, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, St. Louis on the Air hosted a moderated conversation in the Community Room at St. Louis Public Radio about Amendments 3, 4 and 6 as well as Proposition A. This was an effort to inform voters on statewide ballot issues they would see on Nov. 8.

Dozens of cannabis clones grow under high-intensity lights at BeLeaf's growing and processing facility in Earth City, Mo.
Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

Efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri failed to pass the state legislature last session or qualify for the ballot next week, but nine pot-related measures are up for votes in other states on Election Day.  As laws and public opinion toward the cannabis plant continue shifting nationwide, the Show Me State is taking a wait-and-see approach.

St. Louis on the Air hosted a town hall with a proponent and opponent of Missouri's proposed Constitional Amendment 6 on Nov. 1, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, St. Louis on the Air hosted a moderated conversation in the Community Room at St. Louis Public Radio about Amendments 3, 4 and 6 as well as Proposition A. This was an effort to inform voters on statewide ballot issues they would see on Nov. 8.

File photo

After leading the fight to get the proposed tobacco tax increase known as Proposition A on the ballot, Ron Leone is forsaking that proposal so he can focus on defeating its rival.

“We’ve had to leave the fate of Proposition A to the gods,” said Leone, executive director of Missouri Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Stores. “Our entire focus of our resources and our effort has been to defeat Amendment 3.”

St. Louis on the Air hosted a town hall with a proponent and opponent of Missouri's proposed Constitional Amendment 4 on Nov. 1, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, St. Louis on the Air hosted a moderated conversation in the Community Room at St. Louis Public Radio about Amendments 3, 4 and 6 as well as Proposition A. This was in an effort to inform voters on statewide ballot issues they would see on their Nov. 8 ballot.

Russ Carnahan October 2016
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome back Democratic lieutenant governor hopeful Russ Carnahan.

The former congressman and state representative easily won a Democratic primary earlier this year. He’s squaring off against GOP lieutenant governor nominee Mike Parson. Parson recorded an episode of Politically Speaking that can be found here.

Join St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh for a town hall event on Tuesday, Nov. 1 to discuss four of Missouri's most contested ballot measures.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Come Nov. 8, Missourians will have many important decisions to make. Who will be the country’s next president? Missouri’s next U.S. senator and congressmen? Our state’s governor? Our state’s next senators and representatives?

That’s not all Missourians will be deciding on. There are also a handful of ballot measures that you should think closely about before the day of the election. A week before you head to the polls,  St. Louis on the Air hosted an evening town hall to hear from proponents and opponents of the four most contested ballot measures.

How do you tell what is real and fake news during the election season? On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air, we'll hear from media literacy educators about some strategies. These are all "fake" news headlines pulled from Snopes.com.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

You’ve seen it in your newsfeed before and perhaps even clicked on it or shared it: a bogus “news” story related to the election. While Facebook and other social media sites have worked hard to limit the reach of such stories, some still seep through the cracks.

An infrared photograph shows a water main leak in Webster Groves. Water utility companies photograph roads at night to determine which pipes may be in need of repair.
Missouri American Water | Provided

Updated Nov. 1 with court arguments – The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing whether state law still allows Missouri American Water to charge its St. Louis County customers an infrastructure surcharge.

The Public Service Commission agreed to allow Missouri American to charge the $3 a month fee, even though St. Louis County's population dropped below 1 million during the 2010 U.S. census. But the western district court of appeals overturned that decision in March.

C.J. Baricevic is the Democratic candidate for Illinois' 12th congressional district. He comes from a long line of public servants.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from C.J. Baricevic, the Democratic candidate running for Illinois’ 12th congressional district.

Baricevic is a St. Clair County native and comes from a family of public servants. He is a partner in the law firm of Chatham and Baricevic, which specializes in labor law. He has also serves part-time as a public defender.

Democrat Sheila Simon and Republican Paul Schimpf
From campaigns

In Illinois’ 58th district, it’s lieutenant governor versus lieutenant colonel in a race for the Metro East’s only open state senate seat.

Republican David Luechtefeld of Okawville is retiring after 22 years in office. He has endorsed Paul Schimpf of Waterloo, a former Marine and political newcomer. Schimpf is running against a familiar name in Illinois politics, former Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, a Democrat from Carbondale.

Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson listens to representatives speak on the last day of the legislative session.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Next Tuesday’s election could showcase whether the House Republican supermajority is wave-proof.

After the House GOP shot way past the 109-member supermajority threshold in 2014, Missouri Republicans may be in their strongest legislative position ever in the General Assembly’s lower chamber. And since Republicans represent some Democratic-leaning seats, it stands to reason that the party will face a challenge this year to retain the status quo – especially if GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump underperforms in the Show Me State.

Mike Parson
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back Republican lieutenant governor hopeful Mike Parson.

Parson, a state senator from Bolivar, won a hotly contested GOP primary for the lieutenant governorship against Bev Randles. He’s facing off against Democrat Russ Carnahan in the general election. Carnahan recorded an episode of Politically Speaking that will be posted later this week.

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