By Kat Riddler, news editor for The Current
Tuesday, November 4 is Election Day. Whether or not young voters will turn out to exercise their right to vote continues to be an open question. To assist you in knowing more about what will be on the ballot here in Missouri, we are providing this simple voters guide. The ballot will change depending on the individual’s residence. Here are the four statewide propositions which will be on the ballot and some of the other St. Louis area candidates and races of note.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 2
Amendment of Missouri Constitution to be permissible to allow relevant evidence of prior criminal acts to be admissible in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age. This will have no impact on taxes.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 3
Amendment of Missouri Constitution to require teachers to be evaluated by standard-based performance evaluation system, or student end-of-year standardized tests. It will allow teachers to be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted, and paid primarily using the results of the standardized tests. It will also limit teachers to contracts of three years or fewer in public school districts and prohibit teachers from organizing or collectively bargaining regarding the design and implementation of the teacher evaluation system.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 6
Amendment of Missouri Constitution will extend the early voting period in person or by mail to six business days before Election Day, including the Wednesday before the Election Day in general elections. It excludes voting on Saturday and Sunday. This measure will not affect taxes, but has an estimated startup cost of approximately $2 million and costs to reimburse local election authorities of at least $100,000 per election.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 10
Amendment of Missouri Constitution that will change the requirements placed on the governor for proposing a state budget and for withholding money appropriated in the budget passed by the legislature. It prevents the govenor from reducing funding passed by the general assembly without first getting legislative consent. It restricts the governor from increasing or decreasing line items in the budget.
The Missouri State Auditor race is not as exciting as other races. Incumbent Republican Tom Schweich is running for the office again. There is no Democratic candidate filed for this office, but there is Constitution party Rod Farthing and Libertarian party Sean O’Toole running against Schweich. For more information visit www.tomschweich.com and www.otoole4mo.com.
U.S. Representative District 1 race is between Incumbent Democratic U.S. State Representative Lacy Clay, Republican Daniel J. Edler, and Libertarian Robb E. Cunningham. District 1 is North St. Louis County, most of central St. Louis County, and St. Louis City. For more information on the candidates visit www.lacyclay.org, www.electdanelder.com and www.ballotpedia.org/Robb_Cunningham.
U.S. Representative District 2 is South St. Louis County to Jefferson County line, West St. Louis County to Franklin County line, and a portion of St. Charles County. Incumbent Republican candidate Ann Wagner is running against Democrat Arthur Lieber for this office. For more information on the candidates visit annwagner.com and www.lieberforcongress.com.
Two of the most competitive State Senate races are in the greater St. Louis area this election season. Senate District 24 and Senate District 22 are both considered “toss up” elections at this point.
In Senate District 24, Democratic State Representative Jill Schupp faces off against Republican Jay Ashcroft, son of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Both sides have spent well over $1 million for this open seat, which stretches from Maryland Heights south to Chesterfield. Additional information about each candidate can be found at www.jillschupp.com and www.ashcroftforsenate.com.
In Senate District 22, Democratic State Representative Jeff Roorda is running against Republican State Representative Paul Wieland. Again, this is an open Senate District. Unlike the 24 District, which had been in Republican control, the 22 District was held by a Democrat. So both political parties are hoping to gain an additional senate seat, if they were to win both. Spending has been somewhat less than the other district, but is in the neighborhood of $800,000 to $900,000 each. Roorda is also the Executive Director of the Fraternal Order of Police and has received a great deal of publicity for his defense of Officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting. For more information on both candidates visit www.jeffroorda.org and www.wielandnow.com.
While State Senate District 4 is considered a relatively safe Democratic seat, Republican Courtney Blunt is trying to unseat Democratic incumbent State Senator Joseph (Joe) Keaveny. District 4 includes portions of Brentwood and University City, as well as portions along the western edge of St. Louis City. For more information on the candidates visit www.twitter.com/JoeKeaveny and www.facebook.com/voteblunt.
There are a myriad number of State Representative races. While there are many contested races throughout the region, the most excitement seems to be centered on Jefferson County. How the State Representative races go in this area could well determine whether or not the Republicans in the Missouri House of Representatives will have a veto-proof majority with which to override vetoes by Governor Jay Nixon. The importance of these house races has been underscored by the high levels of campaign spending resulting in some of the most expensive State Representative races in Missouri.
These include the State Representative Districts 114, 113, 112 and 111.
One of the hottest races is for St. Louis County Executive. Democrat Steve Stenger, a current County Council member, defeated County Executive Charles Dooley in the Democratic Primary, August 5. He now faces Republican State Representative Rick Stream for this office. The University of Missouri– St. Louis earlier hosted a debate at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on October 14 for these two gentlemen. Information about these candidates can be found at www.stevestenger.com and www.teamrickstream.com.
One of the more interesting races in the City of St. Louis is for the office of Recorder of Deeds. Long time office holder Sharon Carpenter resigned earlier this year over charges of nepotism. The vacancy was filled by the appointment of Alderwoman Jennifer Florida by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. The twist to this race, however, is that Carpenter had her name on the August Primary ballot and won the Democratic nomination. Florida had to then file as an independent to try to retain the office she was appointed to. For more information on these candidates visit www.carpenterforrecorder.com and www.jenniferflorida.com.
While there are so many races throughout the region where UMSL students may live, we can only offer the highlights here and encourage students to find out more about local races and local initiatives by visiting the Missouri Secretary of State website (www.sos.mo.gov), St. Louis County Election Authority website (www.stlouisco.com/YourGovernment/Elections), St. Charles County Election Authority (www.sccmo.org/410/Election-Authority), and Jefferson County Election Authority (www.jeffcomo.org/CountyClerk.aspx?nodeID=CountyClerk). For any students living in Illinois, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website (http://www.elections.il.gov/).
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