Missourinet offers a rundown of some of the top issues and races before Missouri voters today.
The key question for Missouri state politics is whether Republicans will retain their supermajority status in the House. Several Republicans think they will actually grow their numbers.
Here is what one political scientist at the University of Missouri had to say about it:
Local races also have great importance.
In the heart of the state, a Republican challenger is trying to unseat a Democrat who has been a judge in the Cole County Circuit for 20 years. Pat Joyce is the only Democrat in the circuit, and outside groups have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars backing her Republican opponent, Jefferson City Prosecutor Brian Stumpe.
The court is important because it is in the state capital, and is where cases challenging the constitutionality of state laws and regulations are filed, as well as suits alleging corruption by government officials or challenges of ballot wording.
Another race of statewide importance is that for St. Louis County Executive. Embattled Democrat incumbent Charlie Dooley was defeated in the primary by Councilman Steve Stenger, who faces outgoing House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream. Stream’s vote count in August doesn’t look favorable, but he has been backed by a group of black political leaders.
The race matters for all of Missouri if only because of economics: a recent study of the contribution of each county to the state’s economy shows St. Louis County holds the greatest share at nearly 19 percent, and four of the top ten counties are in the St. Louis region.
This year has shown how local races can impact all of Missouri, such as the Ferguson City Council’s role in how its Police Department and recent unrest there have been managed, or the recent developments for those seeking same-sex marriages and how local elected officials have given traction to challenges to Missouri’s laws and constitutional ban against same-sex marriage.
Missouri voters are also asked to weigh in on four proposed changes to the state Constitution. Here are the official ballot summaries and some of our earlier coverage of those:
Amendment 2: Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that it will be permissible to allow relevant evidence of prior criminal acts to be admissible in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age?
If more resources are needed to defend increased prosecutions additional costs to governmental entities could be at least $1.4 million annually, otherwise the fiscal impact is expected to be limited.
Amendment 3: Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
– require teachers to be evaluated by a standards based performance evaluation system for which each local school district must receive state approval to continue receiving state and local funding;
– require teachers to be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system;
– require teachers to enter into contracts of three years or fewer with public school districts; and
prohibit teachers from organizing or collectively bargaining regarding the design and implementation of the teacher evaluation system?
Amendment 6: Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to permit voting in person or by mail for a period of six business days prior to and including the Wednesday before the election day in general elections, but only if the legislature and the governor appropriate and disburse funds to pay for the increased costs of such voting?
State governmental entities estimated startup costs of about $2 million and costs to reimburse local election authorities of at least $100,000 per election. Local election authorities estimated higher reimbursable costs per election. Those costs will depend on the compensation, staffing, and, planning decisions of election authorities with the total costs being unknown.
Amendment 10: Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the governor to pay the public debt, to prohibit the governor from relying on revenue from legislation not yet passed when proposing a budget, and to provide a legislative check on the governor’s decisions to restrict funding for education and other state services?