St. Louis to open two satellite absentee voting sites Tuesday for March 2 primary

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St. Louis to open two satellite absentee voting sites Tuesday for March 2 primary

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St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson greets voters after casting her absentee vote at the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — The snowy and cold weather spurred the city Election Board to cancel plans to open two satellite absentee voting sites Tuesday morning.

The board has yet to say when the new opening dates will be. The board also said its main office downtown will be closed Tuesday. Other city government buildings, including City Hall, are closed to all but essential workers.

The planned satellite locations are Better Family Life, 5415 Page Boulevard, and Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 4092 Blow Street. 

Once they are operational, they will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. An exception will be March 1, when voting hours will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Only touch-screen voting will be available at the two sites.

Absentee voting began Jan. 19 at the downtown office at 300 North Tucker Boulevard. Absentee balloting normally will occur there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, plus from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 27, the Saturday before the primary.

The city Board of Estimate and Apportionment allocated $75,000 at Mayor Lyda Krewson’s request to pay for the extra sites.

Gary Stoff, a board official, said walk-in voting at the board office has been “extremely slow” so far. He said the board decided to go ahead with the ancillary sites anyway because “we’re trying to be available as we can.”

Residents can also request absentee ballots by mail; applications are due Wednesday.

The ballot includes candidates for mayor, comptroller and 16 seats on the Board of Aldermen.

Under the city’s new nonpartisan election system, the top two finishers in each race will move on to two-person runoffs in the April 6 general election. In another change, residents can vote in the primary for multiple candidates for an office, not just one.

Under state law, only registered voters who give one of several specified excuses outlined in state law can vote absentee, such as being outside the city on Election Day. 

Looser rules due to the pandemic adopted by the Missouri Legislature for last year’s August and November elections expired Dec. 31 and are no longer in effect.

Updated at 10 a.m. Tuesday

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