St. Louis to Use New Voting Method for First Time

March 1, 2021 by Dan McCue

ST. LOUIS – The city of St. Louis, Mo., will hold its mayoral primary Tuesday with a new electoral process approved by voters in November. 

Under the so-called “approval voting” regime, candidates of all political affiliations will appear on the ballot without partisan labels. The measure also allows residents to vote for as many primary candidates as they want. 

The two candidates receiving the most votes will advance to the city’s general election for mayor, which is being held April 6. 

Voters approved the new voting system through the passage of Proposition D in November 2020. 

The measure requires nonpartisan elections for mayor, comptroller, aldermanic president and alderman. The measure passed with 68.15% approving of the change and 31.85% opposing it. 

Supporters said the new system ensures that the ultimate winners have a broad base of support. 

Mayor Lyda Krewson, a Democrat, is not running for re-election. 

Four candidates are running in the primary: 2017 mayoral candidate Andrew Jones, St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Aldermen President Lewis Reed, and Alderwoman Cara Spencer. 

Jones ran as a Republican in 2017, and the other three candidates have previously run for office as Democrats. 

St. Louis is overwhelmingly Democratic so up until now, the winner of the March primary has almost always won the general election a month later. 

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