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What you need to know about Tuesday’s primary for STL Board of Aldermen president

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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis residents who vote in the Sept. 13 primary for St. Louis Board of Aldermen president will have to go to one of 15 polling places and show a state-issued photo ID.

St. Louis voters will go to the polls next week in the primary election for president of the Board of Aldermen.

The Sept. 13 primary is the first election since a new state law took effect requiring a state-issued photo ID to vote.

Under the city’s approval voting system, in which the top two vote-getters advance, both candidates — 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar and 15th Ward Alderwoman Megan Green — will move on to the general election in November. Still, Gary Stoff, the Republican director of elections, is encouraging people to vote in the primary, even though the results will have no effect on who’s running in the general election.

“Elections and voting are an important right,” he said. “We’ve had wars fought over that.”

The eventual winner will serve the remaining five months of Lewis Reed’s term. He resigned in June and pleaded guilty last month to federal corruption charges. Both Green and Coatar are pledging to make the basic services of the city, such as trash collection and 911, work for residents.

The city will have just 15 polling places for the primary election, compared to the usual 70. New technology, however, means voters can go anywhere to cast a ballot, not just to their registered precinct. That same technology will be in use during the November election, but there will be more polling places.

The photo ID law is being challenged in court. Voters without a photo ID with them can still fill out a ballot.

“If you're in the electronic poll pad that says you are a registered voter, you will get to cast a provisional ballot,” Stoff said. “And when that eventually gets down to the election board, and we confirm that the voter is a registered voter, we're going to count that ballot.”

Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7 p.m.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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