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Most Won’t Vote Tomorrow

April 3, 2017 Featured, Politics/Policy No Comments

If you’re like me, you vote in every election. Unfortunately, not everyone is a regular voter.

Vintage photo of the former offices of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. From my collection

With an open seat for mayor, the partisan primary last month had better turnout than 4 years earlier — though still dismal at just 28.6%. Last November the turnout was 69,43% — low compared to other areas in the region. Typically general elections get more voters than partisan primaries, many local governments are non-partisan so there is no primary,

St. Louis is backwards — the primary is the election.  Yes, sometimes an independent will defeat an disliked Democratic nominee  — Independent Scott Ogilvie defeating Democrat Tom Bauer in 2011.

Here is the voter turnout for the last decade, bold numbers are those less than 10%:

A few things stand out to  me: elections to fill open seats attract more voters. Mayoral & presidential elections attract more voters than years without. In local municipal elections, the primary general has higher turnout than the election. Turnout in St. Louis is embarrassingly low.

— Steve Patterson

 

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