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Justice Department Ends Oversight of St. Louis Elections


By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Federal oversight of St. Louis city elections is over.

Local election officials say the Justice Department is satisfied with voting improvements the city made over the last two years.

As a result, federal officials have let a consent decree expire.

The legal action stemmed from the election debacle of 2000, when many people were turned away from the polls because of problems with voter lists.

Election board attorney Rufus Tate says those troubles are a thing of the past.

"The mental image everyone has from 2000 is when people were lined up around the block outside the board of elections," Tate said. "And that process has been eliminated by effectively being able to deal with anyone who appears so that we can quickly determine whether they are registered voters in the city."

Tate says that's possible because of better organization and improved technology.

Election judges now have access to cell phones and PDAs that allow them immediate access to voter lists.


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