Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Flood-Affected Residents Ignore Vote-Early Offer

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Flood-Affected Residents Ignore Vote-Early Offer

Article excerpt

Not a single voter took advantage Friday of the city's unusual offer to let people in flooded neighborhoods come downtown to Election Board headquarters to vote three days early.

Voters in affected areas, some of whom have left their homes because of high water or the threat of it, were to get the same chance on Saturday and Monday. The Election Board office is at 208 South Tucker Boulevard.

"It doesn't surprise me," Dorothy Cameron, the city's Democratic director of elections, said Friday. "There just doesn't seem to be much interest in this election. We're not getting the kinds of inquiries we normally get."

Overall, city election officials estimate that 20 percent of registered voters citywide will cast ballots. But some observers believe that the flood could help hold the count down even lower than usual for mid-summer voting.

Few voters also are expected to show up Tuesday in St. Louis County, where about one-sixth of the population will have an election where they live. Leslye Winslow, the county's Democratic director of elections, predicted a countywide 15 percent turnout in a smattering of school districts and municipalities.

The key suburban issues are property tax increases needed to protect six local districts' state aid under a new state law. The St. Louis County districts holding such votes are Bayless, Brentwood, Clayton, Ladue and Lindbergh. In Jefferson County, the Jefferson R-7 district will ask voters to approve a property tax boost for the same reason.

The St. Louis tax issue has two parts, both needing a simple majority for passage. Proposition I - a proposed half-cent sales-tax increase - is expected to raise $15.3 million a year. The measure stipulates that the money would go to hire 30 more police officers and pay for street and park repairs and other capital improvements.

Proposition S - a proposed three-eights-cent increase in the sales tax - would produce $11. …

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