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County Election officials says ballot mistake in Jennings will force a special election

A touch-screen voting machine. Most voters in St. Louis County are expected to use the touch-screen machines in tomorrow's municipal elections.
(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)
A touch-screen voting machine. Most voters in St. Louis County are expected to use the touch-screen machines in tomorrow's municipal elections.

A month before the April election, the St. Louis County Election Board is acknowledging that the ballot for the city of Jennings is faulty – and a special election will need to be held later to correct it.

New county Democratic elections director Eric Fey says the problem is not of the board’s making.


The ballot for Jennings’ roughly 8,900 residents fails to include an election to choose a board member for the Riverview Fire District.  Because absentee balloting is already underway, Fey says there’s no way to change the ballot for the April 7 ballot.

The problem stems from Jennings’ decision last summer to get rid of its fire department and join the Riverview Fire District.  Fey says the city failed to file the necessary documents with county officials and the court, so the Election Board didn’t have the new boundaries for the fire district.

As a result, the board didn’t include the fire district election on Jennings’ ballots. Four people are vying for one post on the fire board.

Fey said the special election is tentatively set for August, because the state no longer allows municipal elections in June.

No cost estimate was given on the special election, and who will foot the bill.

In 2012, the county Election Board had to conduct a special election in the state House's 87th District in central St. Louis County because the contest was inadvertantly left off some ballots. In that case, the board was at fault and the county had to pay for the re-do.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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