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Martin proud of Tuesday's vote, even with low turnout

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Election board chair Ed Martin was all smiles Tuesday night during a mostly smooth election. (KWMU photo/Tom Weber)

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Fewer than expected voters turned out at the polls in the city of St. Louis Tuesday, but election officials couldn't be happier with how those votes were counted.

Turnout in the city was just 17%, which is below the projection of about 26%. But all apparently went well in the second opportunity for voters to use new touch-screen and optical scan machines.

Election Board Chairman Ed Martin says voters seemed satisfied, and there were no major glitches.

"We had problems that you expect to have in any election, little things like changing the paper took longer than it should have and a touch-screen was temperamental for a few minutes and things like that," said Martin. "But once we worked on it, things turned out fine."

Martin says he's particularly proud that election results were tabulated much more quickly than usual last night. Traditionally, the city is among the last jurisdictions in the state to announce its final results. Tuesday, the results were known before 11 p.m. In St. Louis County, where touch screen and scan ballots were used for the first time, some precincts still hadn't been reported Wednesday morning.

For Martin it's his last election as board chairman. He'll leave the post later this month to take a job as Gov. Matt Blunt's new chief of staff.

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