Friday, September 11, 2020

Your 24W General Ballot

As we're all looking ahead to the General Election on November 3, 2020 – it's important to remember that this isn't just a Presidental Election, you've got statewide Missouri offices, State Reps/Senate, City of Saint Louis offices, Judges, and Issues to learn about. This blog is an overview of what's on your ballot, and where you can learn more.

Download Full St. Louis City Sample Ballot

Bookmark the Missouri ACLU Election Hub as a great resource for ballot information, finding a notary, voter information/registration, and keeping up with everything you need ahead of Election Day.

View plain language descriptions on from the non-partisan League of Women Voters about what's on your ballot. The issue summaries below are pulled from their site.

Collective Endorsements - Organization for Black Struggle (OBS)

Here's what you'll see on your November 3rd, 2020 General Election Ballot:

President and Vice President

Much information is available about our current inhabitants of the white house in Donald J. Trump/Mike Pence (R) and the Democratic ticket of Joseph Biden/Kamala Harris (D). 

Missouri Governor

Governor Mike Parson (R) took office on June 1, 2018, following the resignation of Eric Greitens. He's been widely criticized for his lack of statewide leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nicole Galloway (D) is our current MO State Auditor and the only statewide elected Democrat. Galloway has the Endorsement of Emily's List, a National Organization supporting diverse Pro-Choice Democratic candidates. Galloway has been a champion of transparency which is demonstrated in the audit reporting found on the Auditor's website.

Missouri Lieutenant Governor

Current Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe (R) was appointed in 2018 by Mike Parson. Previous, Kehoe served the 6th Senatorial District and was Assistant Majority Floor Leader and Majority Floor Leader. Democratic candidate Alissia Canady (D) is a proven leader with a platform of combating City Violence, Addressing Health Disparities, and promoting Education and Economic Development. She also has been endorsed by Emily's List.

Missouri Secretary of State

The Secretary of State is responsible for: Drafting Fair Ballot Language, Administering Elections, Educating Voters. This makes the SOS one of the most important elected officials in the state. Current SoS Jay Ashcroft (R) has demonstrated that he's not interested in making it easier for Missourians to vote with our confusing voting laws and deceptive ballot language for Amd. 3 that ended up in the courts to get fair language presented to voters. In contrast, Yinka Faleti (D) is a champion for voter's rights. He's also a West Point graduate, and a U.S. Army Veteran. Yinka is running to increase opportunities to vote, reduce barriers to voter participation, and protect and honor our ballot initiative process.

Missouri State Treasurer

Current MO State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick (R) has served since 2019 when he was appointed by Parson after Eric Schmitt was appointed to Attorney General creating a vacancy in the Office of State Treasurer. Vicki Englund (D) is a former State Representative with a platform of Experienced Leadership, Economic Recovery Plan, and Dedication to Inclusion. Englund has been posting an idea a day leading up to the election about how to improve Missouri's economy. She is also endorsed by Emily's List.

Missouri Attorney General

Eric Schmitt (R) was appointed by Parson in 2019 to the office of Attorney General after the incumbent, Josh Hawley was elected to the United States Senate. Previously he served as State Treasurer and State Senator. On the Democratic side, Rich Finneran (D) is a former federal prosecutor and Assistant U.S. Attorney. During his time as a federal prosecutor, Rich handled two of the largest financial fraud cases ever prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

U.S. Representative District 1

Congressional District 1 (which encompasses all of Saint Louis city, and parts of STL County) has been represented by Lacy Clay (D) since 2001. Clay lost to Primary Challenger Cori Bush (D) in August 2020 with a platform that puts regular, everyday people first, with solutions that are long overdue. Bush will face Anthony Rogers (R) and Alex Furman (Lib) in November. Rogers has endorsements of Roger Stone and Tiger King star Joshua Dial and Furman is Vice President of STL Proud Boy chapter and served time with drug-related charges.

State Representative District 83

Jo Doll (D) won the Democratic Primary in August to replace term-limited Gina Mitten. With a strong platform focusing on healthcare and family, Doll is the presumptive Rep but will face Andrew Bolin (Lib) on November's ballot before it's official.

State Representative District 84

Current Representative Wiley (Chip) Price IV (D) is running unopposed.

Saint Louis City Circuit Attorney

Incumbent and primary winner Kimberly M. Gardner (D) is challenged by Daniel Zdrodowski (R). Zdrodowski is critical of Gardner's work, but Gardner easily won the primary with 60.7% of the vote.

Saint Louis City Sheriff

Incumbent and primary winner Vernon Betts (D) is challenged by John N. Castellano III (R). St. Louis city has had a Democratic Sheriff since 1933.

Saint Louis City Treasurer

Incumbent and primary winner Tishaura O. Jones (D) is challenged by Robert Vroman (R). Vroman describes himself as "pro-business, pro-choice, pro-gun, pro-immigrant, anti-prohibition, anti-war" in contrast, Jones is working to improve the overall financial health of city residents by opening the Office of Financial Empowerment, offering free financial literacy classes and counseling, and the College Kids Savings Program. 

For candidates, I will be voting the straight D ticket on these races.


Missouri Supreme Court Judge, Missouri Court of Appeals (Eastern District) Judges, Circuit Court Judges (22nd Judicial Circuit), Associate Circuit Court Judges (22nd Judicial Circuit)

Researching judges is always something that I get a lot of questions about. The best resource we have to see how the MO Bar Review Committee rates our judges at 

Thread by Rebecca Rivas (Reporter for @MO_Independent) on 22nd Circuit Judges.

Constitutional Amendment 1 

"Do you want to amend the Missouri Constitution to extend the two term restriction that currently applies to the Governor and Treasurer to the Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor and the Attorney General?"

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to impose a two term restriction on all statewide elected officials, which currently only applies to the Governor and Treasurer.
A “no” vote will leave the terms that statewide elected officials may serve unchanged.

State and local governmental entities estimate no costs or savings from this proposal.

Summary: If passed, Amendment 1 would limit the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor and attorney general to two terms. The state constitution now limits only the governor and treasurer to two terms. Supporters say term limits will keep elected officials from becoming career politicians. Opponents contend that those positions should be limited by voters, not the constitution.

24WPD have endorsed Yes on 1.

Constitutional Amendment 3 

Known as "Dirty Missouri" This effort by those in Jeff City would overturn the Clean Missouri Amendment voters passed by 62% in 2018. So, if you voted yes on Clean MO, vote NO on 3.

"Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
• Ban gifts from paid lobbyists to legislators and their employees;
• Reduce legislative campaign contribution limits;
• Change the redistricting process voters approved in 2018 by: (i) transferring responsibility for drawing state legislative districts from the Nonpartisan State Demographer to Governor-appointed bipartisan commissions; (ii) modifying and reordering the redistricting criteria.

State governmental entities expect no cost or savings. Individual local governmental entities expect significant decreased revenues of a total unknown amount."

A “yes” vote overturns the will of 62% of MO voters who passed Clean MO in 2018
A “no” vote upholds what voters passed in 2018 with Clean MO

Summary: This proposal asks voters to reverse key parts of a "Clean Missouri'' redistricting overhaul they approved in 2018. The ballot language was disputed and had to be finalized by a Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruling.

If passed, Amendment 3 would eliminate the nonpartisan state demographer used for redistricting approved in 2018. It would return to the use of bipartisan commissions in the state house and state senate appointed by the governor. It would not use the total population count to determine districts, but only count eligible voters. It would also change the limit of lobbyists' gifts from $5 to $0 and lower the campaign contribution limit for state senate campaigns from $2,500 to $2,400.

Supporters say that voters need to be given another chance to consider the issue of redistricting. They also say that bipartisan commissions would less likely be corrupted, reflect the views of different communities and protect minorities.

Opponents say that Amendment 3 is the legislators' gerrymandering amendment, and that it would reverse the 2018 voters' decision, thus threatening democracy. Missouri would be the only state in the country to discount 1.5 million children, immigrants, international students and incarcerated citizens. Communities of color would be significantly underrepresented.

I urge you to vote NO on 3. 24WPD have also endorsed No on 3.

Proposition D

Proposed by Initiative Petition and supported by STL Approves, this would change how local STL elections are run taking effect ahead of our Municipal Elections in March 2021.

"Shall the City of St. Louis adopt an ordinance to:
* establish an open, non-partisan system for elections to the offices of Mayor, Comptroller, President of the Board of Aldermen, and Alderman
* enable voters to choose all the candidates they wish in the open, non-partisan primary
* allow the top two candidates to then compete in a runoff general election?"

"Yes" vote would change the elections to this format
"No" vote would keep elections as they are

Summary: This proposition was placed on the ballot through an initiative petition drive. If passed, it would remove party affiliations from the primary ballot for candidates for mayor, comptroller, aldermanic president and alderman, and make the general election a runoff between the top two vote-getting candidates for each post. In the primary, voters could vote for any or all candidates they approve and then would vote for one in the general election. The change would go into effect for the 2021 elections. Supporters complain that some city officials have been elected with less than 40% of the primary vote under the current system. They add that under the proposition, some officeholders would be elected with broader citywide support. They also point out that nonpartisan city elections are held in all other Missouri municipalities and 80% of municipalities nationwide. Opponents say political parties would be hurt and lose their candidates' party identity and that the ward committee system would be weakened. They also say residents would be confused by the proposed change.

Both 24WPD and both committeepersons in the 24th endorse Yes on D.

Proposition 1

"Shall Section 2 of Article VIII of the City of St. Louis Charter, which requires all officers and employees of the City of St. Louis to reside within the City's boundaries, be amended to permit the employees of the City of St. Louis except for City agency and department directors appointed by the Mayor to reside outside of the City's boundaries?"

"Yes" vote would allow city employees to live outside city boundaries
"No" vote would keep the current requirement in place for city residency.

An important note about this Proposition, this DOES NOT include employees of SLMPD as that requirement has already been lifted by the MO Legislature and was signed into law 9/21/20.

Summary: The measure, a proposed amendment to the city charter, would extend repeal of the city residency requirement to all city civil service employees. A state law passed in September already has removed the requirement for employees of the police and fire departments and other first responders hired before September 2023. Supporters of repeal say it could help the city attract more people to fill hundreds of vacancies in city government. Opponents say the residency requirement makes it more likely that city employees will know the areas they serve. Opponents also argue that the city personnel department should do a better job recruiting city residents for available jobs.

24WPD have endorsed No on 1.

Proposition R

"Shall the City of St. Louis levy an additional tax of six cents per each one hundred dollars ($100.00) of assessed valuation as authorized by Section 210.860 R.S.Mo. for the purpose of providing additional funding for community children's services, in particular, early childhood services for children aged five years and under, in addition to the current levy of nineteen cents per each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation?"

"Yes" vote would allow additional sales tax
"No" vote would not add sales tax

Prop R is similar to a scenario that recently hit a roadblock in the County. 

Summary: City officials want to increase the tax rate for the community children's services fund from 19 cents per $100 dollars assessed valuation to 25 cents, the maximum allowed by state law. The Children's Services fund is administered by the city mental health board. If passed, the owner of a $150,000 home would pay about $17 more a year, and about $2.3 million would be raised annually. The additional funds would be targeted for early childhood services for children under age 5 in the city's most vulnerable neighborhoods.

Supporters say early childhood education is a key to success in school. The current 225 licensed early childhood centers serve about 10,000 children, but many more need these services. Parents of these children would be able to work and pursue educational opportunities to improve their families' lives.

24WPD are No on R.
OBS, Teacher's Union, and STL School Board have all OPPOSED this measure.

Proposition T

"Should Chapter 23 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis be amended to impose a gross receipts tax of seven and one half percent of the gross receipts obtained from Telecommunications Providers, which are and include every entity now or hereafter engaged in a general telecommunication business in the City, providing telecommunication, telecommunications exchange, or local, toll, or long distance, telephone service to its customers with a service or billing address within the St. Louis City limits; and Fiber Networks Providers, which are and include every entity now or hereafter engaged in providing fiber networks, built whole or in part in the City's public right of way, which are not internet or service providers subject to franchise fees, to customers and other users of fiber networks?"

"Yes" vote would impose tax on Telecomm Providers
"No" vote would not 

Summary: Officials want to replace the city's $2.20 per linear feet right-of-way fee that network providers pay before giving service, with a gross receipt tax of 7.5 percent. If passed, customers will pay the same tax as they do for telephone service. The right-of-way fee is currently rolled into internet charges. Some parts of the city, particularly north of Delmar, are getting poor service, supporters say. They add if the right-of-way fee is eliminated, providers will have a strong incentive to move into new neighborhoods, competitors will enter the market and all parts of the city will get better service. Providers will not have to pay high fees up front. They can collect the tax after gaining customers.

24WPD has endorsed Yes on T.

Make your VOTING PLAN now, and make sure your voice is heard on 11/3/20! Please check back to this blog as it will be updated as new sources/information becomes available.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Be a Poll Worker

As many of you know, I've been working as an Election Judge for the past handful of Elections. And this year, it's especially important to recruit new Poll Workers because many of those to consistently do this work unavailable due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Signing up to be a Poll Worker is an important way you can ensure we don't have polling locations close. Staffing Poll Workers is key to keeping all of our city polling locations open, making it as accessible as possible for voters to cast their votes. 

We can't have a successful Election Day without some of us stepping up to do the work on November 3rd.

There are a couple different jobs you could have on Election Day:

Election Judge Poll Worker

Check-in and assist voters on Election Day, these are partisan roles

In order to become an Election Judge in the City of St. Louis, residents must:
• Be a City of St. Louis resident
• Be 18 years of age or older and a registered voter
• Be able to read, write, and speak the English language
• Be available from 5:00 a.m. until the closing of the polls
• Attend a training session prior to the Election
• Pay per Election = $125 (includes mandatory training pay)
• Declare a Political party (Democrat, Republican or Independent)

Technical Specialist Poll Worker

Set up and maintain all the technical aspects of the polling place machines under the direction and rules specified by law, the BOE, and poll managers, this is a non-partisan role. 

Requirements: (including those above except this is non-partisan)
• Must have basic computer comprehension and mechanical skills 
• Non-Partisan Position Pay per Election $150 (includes 6-hour training class)
• Must have your own vehicle 
• Able to lift 40 lbs

High School Student Poll Worker

St. Louis City High School Student Election Participation Project

The following guidelines apply to High School students seeking to become a poll worker:

• Students must be at least 15 years old and in tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade at a St. Louis City High School 
• Students who are 16, 17, or 18 years of age can earn community service hours for training service and working on Election Day(s) OR may be compensated monetarily for their services
• Students must serve as Student Poll Workers/Greeters with the permission of a parent or legal guardian
• Students must have a recommendation from their high school for participation in the program. [Principal or counselor preferred]
• Students will work in a non-partisan capacity
• Students hours on Election Day are 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Ask regarding partnering hours.)

Mail your paper application to:

Attn: Summer Richardson
Assistant Deputy Republican Director
St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners
300 N. Tucker
St. Louis, MO 63101

or FAX the hard-copy application to 314-622-4060

Democratic Poll Watchers/Challengers

Democratic Poll Watchers are not employed by the Election Board but are credentialed and allowed to be in a polling location to watch the process. If you're interested in volunteering in the city of St. Louis as a Democratic Watcher/Challenger send Carolyn an email and her know you'd like to know more.

Election Protection Volunteers

Sign up to work for the Saint Louis Voter Protection Coalition (866-OUR-VOTE). They need roving monitors, polling place monitors, social media monitors (an ongoing volunteer position starting soon!), folks to help place 866OURVOTE signs at polling places, and lawyers to answer the hotline & pursue urgent problems. All volunteer positions can be contactless. Sign up and learn more. 

Let's do this.

So, make this year the year YOU help make our elections run smoothly and witness Democracy in action by working as a Poll Worker. I won't lie to you, it's a long day... but it's also incredibly rewarding.

If you are employed by the Election Board, you can vote absentee in-person ahead of Election Day. 

Learn more about how you can be involved in St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners website. Or if you're outside the city, you can apply on your local election authority website or learn more on the Secretary of State website.

FYI: You may also See Poll Managers and Roving Deputies in the city. Poll Managers are long-time Election Judges who will oversee the operations at each polling location, they work in bi-partisan teams, meaning there will a Republican and Democrat Poll Manager at each polling location. Roving Deputies also work in bi-partisan teams but they rotate between polling locations within a ward of the city. Roving Deputies are escorted by an SLMPD officer, they are why you might see more police around your polling location than usual. Rovers are ultimately responsible for returning ballots back to the Board of Election downtown after polls close, so remember, while it's a long day for all Election Judges, it's the longest day for a Roving Deputy and Poll Managers. Bring them coffee.