By Tim Kaiser, Editor-in-Chief |
Unless you have been living without any form of media for the last month, you are well aware that today is the midterm election. There is no doubt that the midterms are not as compelling for most of the population as a presidential race, but this one could flip control of the Senate.
Missouri will sit out of the struggle for senatorial superiority this go-around. The Republicans are projected to take control of the senate, although we might not know for sure until January due to runoffs and recounts.
Voter turnout is always less than presidential years and tends to be whiter and older than the average American. Throw in the fact that this year there is no Senate race, the Republicans are not in danger of losing the House, and a rainy, cold and cloudy day and turnout is certainly going to be poor.
However, this election definitely matters.
With the gridlock in the U.S. Congress, the real governing and lawmaking is being done at the state and local level. Special interests have taken notice dumping more and more money into state elections. I will let John Oliver– the man with the best TV show this fall without zombies– take it from there.
Along with the U.S. House, state races, and various county positions (For a full list of what will be on your specific ballot enter your address here), there are four more amendments and a proposition on the ballot.
In August, voters accepted the “Right-to-Farm” (Amendment 1), Missouri’s own version of the U.S. Second Amendment a.k.a. the right to bear arms (Amendment 5), and an amendment that expanded the protection from unreasonable search and seizure to electronic communication and data (Amendment 9). Meanwhile they struck down a temporary increase in sales tax to pay for road repairs (Amendment 7) and a lottery to benefit Veterans (Amendment 8).
This time around the amendments are:
-Amendment 2: To allow prior acts to be used as evidence in trial for sexual crimes against minors
-Amendment 3: To evaluate firing and pay of teachers based on student test scores.
-Amendment 6: To enact early voting for MO
-Amendment 10: Gives legislature an override of Governor’s veto of proposed budget
Voters will also have a chance to ban red light cameras in St. Charles County with a proposition on the ballot this time.
In St. Louis County, how much and what kind of an impact the events in Ferguson have on the election is a topic being watched around the country. The primary was four days before Michael Brown was shot and killed on August 9, so this is the first time protesters and citizens of Ferguson will get to have their voices heard in the voting booth. Steve Stenger, who has caught some ire from protesters for his close ties to Prosecutor Bob McCullough and is currently a County Council member, is in a race for County Executive with Rick Stream and they are running in a dead heat. It will be interesting to see if his tangential affiliation with the Wilson Grand Jury will cost him the race.
Thus far it is looking like Ferguson has motivated people to get to the polls.
So, look up your polling place using the tool below and go vote before 7 p.m. We will have full results here once they are available.
Post-Dispatch Ballot Look-up– Sample ballot based on your address. Also has some bios/ headshots contributed by candidates.