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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Go Vote, St. Louis! Officials Predict Low Voter Turnout Despite Contentious Races

Posted By on Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Cast your ballots today, STL. - THERESA THOMPSON VIA FLICKR

It's Election Day, St. Louis! Time to head to the polls and make your voice heard. If you are planning to go vote today, you'll likely be one of the few. Experts only expect about 10 percent of Missourians to cast a ballot in this primary race.

Local primary races typically see a much lower turnout than, say, a presidential or statewide election. But this year's ballot includes a heated race for St. Louis county executive and ten statewide ballot measures on topics including agriculture, gun rights and transportation taxes.

See also: Police Chief, Circuit Attorney Say "Unalienable" Gun Rights Amendment Misleads Voters

The question is, do enough Missourians care about the issues on the ballot to spur a voting percentage higher than a measly 10 percent?

County elections director Rita Herd Days says she's not exactly expecting a run at the polls today. She tells KMOX that 10 to 15 percent of the county's 665,000 registered voters will probably turn out, which would mean fewer than 70,000 votes cast on Election Day.

See also: Woman Arrested for Trespassing After Protesting Controversial "Right to Farm" Bill

"I don't think we've had [a county executive race] as contentious as this one for quite some time now," Herd Days tells KMOX, "but I do not think that even with all of that on the ballot and many of these constitutional amendments, I'm not sure that this is going to be a driver for people to come out."

click to enlarge Candidates for county executive debate at the League of Women Voters forum. - LINDSAY TOLER
  • Lindsay Toler
  • Candidates for county executive debate at the League of Women Voters forum.

Sorry, city-dwellers, but the most interesting race today has to be the throwdown between ten-year County Executive Charlie Dooley and challenger Steve Stenger. We've been following some of the crazier moments of the campaigns: -Dooley Campaign Accidentally Calls Stenger Supporter Sexist Slur, Won't Apologize -County Executive Dooley Says St. Louis Post-Dispatch Political Cartoon of Him is Racist -Stenger Makes His Case for County Executive, Dooley Calls Criticisms "Foolishness" -County Exec Race: Stenger Says Dooley is Killing Puppies, Dooley Says It's Not That Bad -Dooley Attack Ad Accuses Stenger of Defending Human Trafficking Ring -Trash Talk, F-Bombs Get St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley in Trouble Again

If you are headed out to vote today, here's where you can make sure you are registered and find your polling place.

What's on your ballot? The League of Women Voters has a nifty, interactive tool up to help you research and read your ballot. Here is the ballot for St. Louis County.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at

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