Figures Showing Huge Jump in Ferguson Voter Registration are Very Inaccurate

Categories: Ferguson, Politics

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Lindsay Toler

In a statement released early this afternoon, Senator Rita Heard Days, Democratic director of the St. Louis County Election Board, admitted that her office released wildly inflated figures in response to press inquiries about how many new voters have registered from Ferguson.

Less than a week ago, Days' office reported that 3,287 brand new voters registered in Ferguson after the shooting death of Michael Brown on August 9. The figures seemed to show an energized voter base and the promise of political change in Ferguson -- the current mayor James Knowles was elected with only 1,324 votes back in April.

But according to her latest release, Days' office is now putting that figure much, much lower -- it seems only 128 new voters have registered in Ferguson.

"Turns out that was an incorrect report that we were using," she told Daily RFT.

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Board of Election Bungles Voter Cards for Tower Grove Aldermanic Election, Twice

Categories: Politics

Lindsay Toler
That should say, "Ward 15 Precinct 3."
Tower Grove South voters are preparing for a special election next week to replace Alderman Jennifer Florida, who left the board to become the city's recorder of deeds.

There's just one problem: The voter notice cards sent by the board of elections keep coming out wrong.

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Columbia Considers Raising Legal Age Limit for Tobacco to 21

Categories: Politics

Isabel Bloedwater via Flickr
Don't worry, the age limit in St. Louis is still eighteen.
A college town two hours west of St. Louis wants to stop teen smoking so badly that officials are considering raising the minimum age for buying and using tobacco products to 21 from eighteen.

The city council of Columbia, home to the flagship campus of the University of Missouri, unanimously passed a motion Tuesday night to ask health officials for input before voting on a final bill raising the age limit, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports. The bill could also include a ban on e-cigarette use indoors.

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VIDEO: Atheist Mother Begs Ballwin Not to Put Up "In God We Trust" Sign

"This is what an atheist looks like," Nikki Moungo tells the Ballwin City Council.
Nikki Moungo, a self-proclaimed atheist and a mother, made an impassioned plea to the Ballwin City Council asking it not to put up a planned "In God We Trust" sign on city property.

Instead, Moungo told the council she'd like a sign with the motto "E pluribus unum" (Latin for "Out of many, one"), and she brought a $1,000 check to the meeting to fund it.

"If you want to put up 'E pluribus unum,' you've got my money. If you want to put up 'In God We Trust,' then it will be a fight I'm ready to take on," Moungo told the council at Monday's meeting. "This is my kids' lives. This is their town. And they deserve to be included as much as Christian children do."

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Ferguson Reduces Fines, Adds Police Review Board to "Improve Trust, Transparency"

Ray Downs
Ever since Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, one of the main topics of concern has been the deep rift between police and the community, including the city's court system and policing tactics, which residents say unfairly targets black people and overly impacts low-income people.

Some of that might change with the Ferguson City Council announcing it will make moderate policy changes in an effort to build trust within the community.

The proposed changes, announced Monday night, will include a cap of how much the city can collect for its general city operations, a citizen review board to give the community more oversight of its police department, the abolishing of several court fines, payment plans for outstanding fines and a one-month warrant recall period.

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Rachel Maddow to Claire McCaskill: You Could Be the Next President [VIDEO]

Categories: Politics

Sen. Claire McCaskill gets a little uncomfortable when Rachel Maddow asks if she's running for president.
The drum beat for the 2016 campaign to put Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Oval Office has already started, but MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has another female candidate in mind: U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.

Maddow put the Missouri senator on the spot during Thursday night's The Rachel Maddow Show, asking straight up: "Why shouldn't I be asking you if you're running for president?...If I were you, I would be running."

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"Blame Charlie A. Dooley": St. Louis County Executive Apologizes to Ferguson

County Executive Charlie Dooley apologizes for the events in Ferguson with St. Louis mayor Francis Slay beside him.
Charlie Dooley, the long-time head of St. Louis County government, is sorry.

In a rare showing of humility and apology from a public official after the death of Michael Brown, Dooley went off-script at the Economic Development Partnerships luncheon Thursday to take responsibility for the traumatizing violence that gripped Ferguson in August -- and for the still-fuming public anger that led to it.

"I want to apologize to this community," Dooley said. "This happened on my watch, and I take it very seriously."

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Too Good for Goodwill? Eureka Blocks Proposed Goodwill Store By Doing Nothing

Categories: Blowback, Politics

MERS Goodwill
If Eureka ever does get a Goodwill store, this is what it will look like.
With silence and obtuse inaction, Eureka city government is preventing MERS Goodwill from opening a store in the town.

Goodwill officials say they've never experienced such a resounding-yet-mysterious refusal to their stores, which they say create jobs, bring shoppers to the area and support their mission to help the unemployed. Chief of staff Dave Kutchback says he hasn't seen a community reject Goodwill like this in the thirteen years he's been working there.

"They've been unwilling to give us a reason for not wanting (a store,)" Kutchback tells Daily RFT. "We directly asked for that reason, and the city attorney explained to us that they don't have to give us a reason for not approving the store."

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Election Results: Stenger Wins Primary, Transportation Tax Dies

Categories: Politics

Steve Stenger.
In a night with few surprises, area voters rejected County Executive Charlie Dooley's re-election bid and kicked to the curb a controversial sales tax designed to improve roads. Voters also approved Missouri's inalienable right to guns and strengthened electronic privacy rights.

The highly-debated "Right to Farm" amendment also passed, but the margin of victory is so narrow -- with only 2,528 votes -- that a recount is likely.

Steve Stenger, who served as the chair of the St. Louis County Council, will now face in November's general election Republican Rick Stream, who handily won the primary over challenger Tony Pousosa, in the election for the county's top spot. Stenger won 66 percent of the countywide vote, defeating Dooley 2-1.

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Go Vote, St. Louis! Officials Predict Low Voter Turnout Despite Contentious Races

Categories: Politics

Theresa Thompson via Flickr
Cast your ballots today, STL.
It's Election Day, St. Louis! Time to head to the polls and make your voice heard.
If you are planning to go vote today, you'll likely be one of the few. Experts only expect about 10 percent of Missourians to cast a ballot in this primary race.

Local primary races typically see a much lower turnout than, say, a presidential or statewide election. But this year's ballot includes a heated race for St. Louis county executive and ten statewide ballot measures on topics including agriculture, gun rights and transportation taxes.

See also: Police Chief, Circuit Attorney Say "Unalienable" Gun Rights Amendment Misleads Voters

The question is, do enough Missourians care about the issues on the ballot to spur a voting percentage higher than a measly 10 percent?

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