Vote No On Prop B Election Scam

propb1Proposition B is a Rex Sinquefield measure to reduce voter turnout for School Board Elections and Charter Amendments. The proposal only moves election of Mayor, Comptroller, Board of Aldermen President, and Aldermen to State/Federal Elections, leaving School Board, Community College Trustee, and Ballot Issues for April Election or Special Elections.

More information on Prop A

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— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

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March 2015 St. Louis City Primary Election Numbers: $#%&*!!

B_R0qcZVIAEMfWmThe numbers from Tuesday’s St. Louis City Municipal Primary are alarming. Barely anyone voted.

21.9%: 8th Ward Alderman 2 Candidate race
19.6%: 15th Ward Alderman 2 Candidate race
16.4%: 7th Ward Alderman 3 Candidate race
15.9%: 26th Ward Alderman 2 Candidate race
14.9%: 2nd Ward Alderman 4 Candidate race
14.8%: 24th Ward Alderman 2 Candidate race
14.2%: 20th Ward Alderman 3 Candidate race
14.3%: 28th Ward Alderman 2 Candidate race
12.5%: 12th Ward Alderman 4 Candidate race
11.3%: 4th Ward Alderman 2 Candidate race
9.1%: Board of Alderman President 2 Candidate race
8.7%: 22nd Ward Alderman 3 Candidate race
7.4%: 6th Ward Alderman Unopposed Incumbent
7.0%: 16th Ward Alderman Unopposed Incumbent
6.6%: 18th Ward Alderman Unopposed Incumbent
5.0%: 14th Ward Alderman Unopposed Incumbent
4.8%: 10th Ward Alderman Unopposed Incumbent
4.5%: 13th Ward Alderman Unopposed Incumbent

Additionally, there were Republican Candidates running in 8 of 28 Wards and Green Party Candidates running in 5 of 28 Wards.

Voters had choices in most wards.

I cannot speak for other wards, but I know in the 7th Ward that the turnout issue was obviously not due to a lack of high quality candidates or a lack of contact from/with the candidates. We had robust debate in the 7th Ward. It was an election, not a coronation. I am proud of that.

In the March 2013 St. Louis City Primary, turnout was higher with far fewer competitive alderman races and day-long freezing rain. The difference? A competitive race for Mayor: Mayor Francis Slay vs. Board President Lewis Reed.

We did not have that this year. There was no citywide contest driving voter turnout. Jimmie Matthews was no threat to President Reed.

Turnouts are higher in State Elections when the top of the ticket is President, U.S. Senate and U.S. House, and Statewide Offices. We know from last year that a lack of a Democratic Candidate for the sole Statewide Office on the ballot can decrease turnout in St. Louis City significantly.

Instant Runoff Voting isn’t the answer. Chicago operates under that system. Turnout was 32% in their February 24th election for Mayor, 50 Aldermen, and a ballot issue to return control of the Chicago School Board back to voters.

Nonpartisan Elections aren’t the answer. Municipalities in St. Louis County have nonpartisan elections and their turnout is pitiful as well.

What can be done here to increase turnout? We can move our St. Louis City March-April Elections in odd-numbered years to State August-November Elections in even-numbered years. It will save money and increase participation.

–Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Let’s Cut $750,000 From Board of Elections Budget & Increase Voter Turnout

If I told you there was a way to cut $750,000 annual out of the St. Louis City Board of Elections Budget and increase voter turnout at the same time, you’d think that was a good deal, wouldn’t you? Here’s the that deal.

In St. Louis City, voter turnout in partisan State Elections is higher than in our partisan Municipal Elections.

Missouri State General Election Nov. 4, 2014: 34.05%
St. Louis City Municipal General Election April 2, 2013: 12.55%

Missouri State Primary Election Aug. 5, 2014: *20.29%
St. Louis City Municipal Primary Election March 5, 2013: 22.o8%

Missouri State General Election Nov. 6, 2012: 74.04%
St. Louis City Municipal General Election April 5, 2011: 13.70%

Missouri State Primary Election Aug. 7, 2012: 26.77%
St. Louis City Municipal Primary Election March 8, 2011: 6.74%

Missouri State General Election Nov. 2, 2010: 48.52%
St. Louis City Municipal General Election April 7, 2009: 17.12%

Missouri State Primary Election Aug. 3, 2o10: 18.58%
St. Louis City Municipal Primary Election March 3, 2009: 14.50%

In Fiscal Years with four elections- Municipal Primary & General and State Primary and General- the St. Louis City Board of Elections Budget increases by at least $1.5 Million.
FY14BOEFY13BOE
If we move St. Louis City Municipal Elections to State Election cycles, we could save up to $750,000 annually.

Move Mayor and Comptroller Elections and half the Board of Aldermen to President/Governor/Congress Elections. Move Board President and half the Board of Elections to State Auditor/Congress Elections.

We can do this right now without any enabling legislation by Missouri General Assembly because St. Louis City and Kansas City are given authority over election of offices under Section 122.650 RSMO.

Full power and authority are hereby conferred on every city in this state which now has, or may hereafter have, more than four hundred thousand inhabitants, to provide for and regulate all elections for offices of and under such city and for the nomination of candidates for such offices; and such provision for and regulation of such elections may be effected either by charter provisions therefor adopted by the people of such city according to law, or ordinances therefor duly enacted, or by the people thereof under the power of initiative, if any, reserved in the charter of such city.

St. Louis City Voters can amend  Article II to make our Municipal General Election the first Tuesday in November of even number years.

Our Primary Election laws are by ordinance, not Charter. We don’t have to re-invent the wheel to switch to a Municipal Primary in August. Chapter 2.08.020 Revised Code of St. Louis City already requires Municipal Primaries be held first Tuesday in August of even-numbered years.

Now this doesn’t change school board elections or junior college district trustee elections scheduled for April ballots. That is something we’d need to get assistance with from the Missouri General Assembly. I also have some ideas on that to be shared another time.

*The Democratic Party failed to have a candidate for State Auditor, the top of the ticket for this primary election.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman