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Special election in St. Louis Tuesday is first under Missouri's voter ID law

Since Alderwoman Megan Green and Alderman Jack Coatar are the only two candidates, both are guaranteed to go on to the general election on November 8.

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis will hold a special election, Tuesday. But before you cast your ballot, you’ll need to show identification, according to a new law in Missouri.

Voters in St. Louis are choosing who will be in the race for President for the St. Louis Board of Aldermen later this year. But since Green and Coatar are the only two candidates, both are guaranteed to go on to the general election on November 8.

This will be the first election under Missouri's new voter identification law, which went into effect last week. 

As Republican Director of Elections for the City of St. Louis, Gary Stoff always hopes for a large voter turnout. 

"I think it's critical that voters should vote in every election," he said.

For Tuesday's special election for the next president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, Stoff said, he's not expecting a line out the door.

"We're thinking maybe 10% tomorrow, I hope I'm wrong. I'd like to see 20%, 25%, 30%," he said.

No matter the outcome though, voters must show a current Missouri driver’s license or government-issued ID, like a non-expired military ID or passport, in order to cast a ballot. 

According to Stoff, voter registration cards or a student ID will no longer be accepted.

"You do need a photo ID, but if you don't have the photo ID, you're still going to get to vote," he said.

If you don't have a photo ID on Election Day, you'll have to vote with a provisional ballot. 

Stoff said that means your vote will be put in an envelope, rather than a scanner.

"Then, you fill out on the back of the envelope, your name, your address, the important information we need to verify that you're in fact, a registered voter," he said.

The Missouri Secretary of State’s website indicates that provisional ballots will count if you return to your polling place on Election Day with a photo ID, or the signature on your provisional ballot envelope is determined by your local election authority to match the signature on your voter registration record.

According to Stoff, if you're worried about your vote counting, you can always reach out.

"If you're registered, you can call the election board after the fact and get confirmation that your ballot counted," he said.

If you're going out to vote on Tuesday, Sept. 13, polling locations are different. 

There are 15 different vote centers, across the city, where any voter can cast a ballot, regardless of where they live, according to Stoff.

You can see a list of those locations here.

Polls open at 6 a.m. and stay open until 7 p.m. Stoff said if you are line at 7 p.m., you will still be able to vote.

In Tuesday’s special election in St. Louis City, Alderwoman Megan Green and Alderman Jack Coatar are vying for a chance at the job left vacant after Lewis Reed's resignation.

A judge ruled in early August that a third candidate, Mark Kummer, was ineligible because although he gathered enough signatures to appear on the ballot, he did not meet residency requirements.

If there were more than two candidates on Tuesday's ballot, St. Louis residents could vote for as many candidates as they approved of. But since Green and Coatar are the only two candidates, both are guaranteed to go on to the general election on November 8.

Former Board President Lewis Reed and former Alderman Vice-President Jeffrey Boyd resigned after they were indicted along with former Alderman John Collins Muhammed in early June on federal bribery charges. Collins Muhammad resigned prior to the indictment. 

All three men have pled guilty and will be sentenced in December.

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