Elections are decided by the voters who show up.
Tuesday’s municipal election saw fewer than 15 percent of the City’s registered voters at the polls. As low as that was, it was better than several previous municipal elections, including the hotly (at least the candidates imagined it was) contested 2007 municipal Democratic primary. And it was a lot better than a recent Kansas City election that reportedly had a 1 percent voter turnout.
Jo Mannies, the political correspondent for the St. Louis Beacon, asked me after the polls closed on Tuesday what measures I would suggest to improve voter turnout. I suggested making it more convenient to vote in all elections by adopting early voting — a reform of convenience I have long favored. I also suggested moving the municipal election to a Saturday and moving municipal elections to the even numbered years, when federal and state elections are already on the ballot. Any of these changes would help.