CORRECTED – Independent Candidate Petitioners May Not Vote In March Party Primary

610d85f975a754f077e921c4c92582d5March 7th is the St. Louis City Primary Election for Mayor, Comptroller, and Aldermen of odd numbered wards, plus a special election for Alderman in 16th Ward, and Proposition S.

It is a political party primary. It is a partisan election. Primary elections have been held in Missouri since 1908. Prior to that, political parties met in conventions to nominate their candidates for federal, state, and local offices in General Elections.

When you vote in the March 7th Primary, you will be asked what political party ballot you want. In this election, you may choose from Democratic Party, Republican Party, Green Party, or Libertarian Party. This election has one local ballot issue, so you may take out a nonpartisan ballot to vote only on a ballot issue.

Candidates for Mayor for all political parties are listed here with their contact information, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts are listed here. If you find an error or have information or a link to fill in a blank, please email us the information.

Independent candidates for Mayor, Comptroller, and Aldermen, must qualify for the April 4th General Election Ballot by submitting signatures of supporters to the Board of Elections.

CORRECTION: We had the wrong deadline date for Independents to file. We said Tuesday, January 17th based on Missouri Secretary of State Elections Calendar. That is the correct date for final day of filing by candidates for School Board and Community College Trustee, but not Independent candidates who must secure signatures to get on the ballot. According to the St. Louis City Board of Election Municipal Election page, the last day for Independents to file is the “eighth Monday prior” to General Election, which would make the filing deadline Monday, February 13th.

On January 25th, the Board of Elections finally got around to posting filing information on Independent candidates.

St. Louis City Charter 2.08.330 regulates the nomination of Independent candidates: “the signers shall declare, in such certificate, that they are bona fide supporters of the candidate sought to be nominated, and have not aided, and will not aid, in the nomination of any other candidate for an elective city office.”

By signing an Independent candidate’s petition, you are nominating a candidate for public office. If you nominate an Independent for the General Election, you cannot help nominate a candidate by voting in the Primary Election, you may only take out a nonpartisan ballot to vote on Proposition S.

Section 115.323 Revised Statutes of Missouri also prohibits a voter from nominating more than one person for an office.

Political parties and Independent candidates may obtain Credentials for Challengers at each polling place. Signature on a nominating petition for an Independent candidate may be used to challenge the right to cast a ballot in the Primary Election.

St. Louis City Board of Elections Election Day Challengers and Watchers Policy

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Nominating petitions are public records.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman, with apologies for confusion regarding the filing date for Independent candidates.

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4 thoughts on “CORRECTED – Independent Candidate Petitioners May Not Vote In March Party Primary

  1. There are a lot of inaccuracies in here, including the statement claiming that today, January 17th, is the deadline for independent candidates to file for city elections. February 13th is.

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    • Thanks for contacting us about the Independent candidates filing date. Our source for filing dates is the Missouri Secretary of State’s Election Calendar found at https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/calendar/2017cal.

      If you would provide a link to a credible source for a different date, we’d be happy to update the post.

      Thank you for taking the time to read the post and respond.

      –Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

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      • That pertains to state elections. City Ordinance 2.08.350 “At all general state elections at which candidates for elective offices may be voted for there shall be separate ballots containing the names of candidates nominated in accordance with the provisions of this chapter only.” Rather than require people to prove that you’re wrong, perhaps take the time and speak to experts first before pronouncing municipal law.

        Also, re: Ordinance 2.08.330, you’re also wrong there. That subsection states that people “shall declare … that they are boba fide supporters”, it doesn’t state that they have to be bona fide supporters. Perhaps you’re correct as to the spirit of the law, but the actual wording of the law. There is no penalty for not actually being a bona fide supporter while declaring to be. Again, the RSMo. you cite, Section 115.323.1, does not prohibit “a voter from nominating more than one person for an office.” It prohibits such conduct “for one office at any election”.

        Independent candidates are not nominated for primary elections and do not participate in them as candidates. As such, it would be impossible for an individual to “subscribe to” both a party nomination declaration as well as an independent nomination for the March 7, 2017 election.

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