St. Louis board of elections racing to get ready for 78th District special election

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – History will be made when St. Louis City voters go to the polls a week from this Friday. Election officials said never before has an election been put together so quickly here. It’s an election where time is of the essence for everyone involved, from voter, to election workers to candidates.

A judge ruled there were a variety of mistakes by election staff that put the 78th Missouri House race in doubt.  The Democratic primary pitted Penny Hubbard against Bruce Franks. Questions with the absentee ballots caused the judge to order a new election.

Absentee voting begins Thursday, the election is September 16th. It’s a race against the clock. Erv Switzer is the new chairman of the city election board.  He said, “The voters have to do things a little differently because of the short turnaround time they can’t sit on the absentee ballot for a week or two or three.”

Switzer was appointed by the governor Tuesday after the absentee ballot problems ended up in court.  He and his fellow commissioners met Wednesday afternoon to make sure the react and comply with the judge’s order and follow the law.

At the same time Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce is looking into the August election to determine if any laws were broken.  The Secretary of State Wednesday urged Joyce to check every absentee ballot to make sure they are legit. As for the next election, the man in charge is confident things will go well. Erv Switzer said, “That’s how I feel and I will stay on top of it til September 16 and beyond.”

There’s another reason it’s time to beat the clock.  The vote has to be certified by the city and state well before September 23 so the absentee ballot for the November election for the military can be printed.

Next week the judge’s ruling will go before the Court of Appeals. The question is: Will that court change everything?