St. Louis City Passes Proposition D: Upcoming Elections Will Be Drastically Different

In the most recent election, which was held on November 3, 2020, St. Louis City's Proposition D passed, receiving 68% of the vote. This result establishes "approval voting" for the March 2021 primary election, for the offices of Mayor, Comptroller, Board of Aldermen President, and Alderman. Fargo, North Dakota had been the only U.S. jurisdiction to use this type of approval voting.

Under approval voting, formally called non-partisan elections, all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, appear on the same ballot. Voters may vote for as many candidates for a given office as they wish. For example, if three people are running for mayor, you may vote for none, one, two, or all three of them. However, in the general election, only the top two vote recipients for a given office from the primary will run against each other and only one vote can be cast for a candidate.

Supporters of the Proposition have noted that approval voting in the primary will allow voters to choose candidates whom they deem best for the job, rather than simply voting along party lines. Furthermore, they have claimed that approval voting should ensure that the general election is comprised of the top two candidates, which will make the general election more meaningful, and the winner of the general election should have a broad base of support. In recent contested elections, the winner often failed to garner a majority of the vote.

However, opponents of the Proposition have mentioned that allowing people to vote for multiple candidates may cause the first choice of a majority of voters to fail to make the general election. Also, they have stated that it will be extremely difficult to educate voters about the change, particularly since the change does not affect county elected offices or state elected officials. Lastly, opponents have argued that by replacing the one-person, one-vote system, the Proposition could fuel strategic voting, which would allow for well-organized, higher-income, older voters to advance candidates they like.

This is a drastic change to the election process. Instead of the typical Democrat versus Republican race for an office, now there is a possibility for a Democrat versus Democrat or Republican versus Republican race. Each candidate will have to figure out how to effectively campaign in this new primary election environment in order to be one of the top two vote-getters among the candidates of both parties.

Lewis Rice Government Solutions & Administrative Law attorneys work with a wide range of elected and appointed decision-makers as they navigate major policy issues. We regularly represent clients’ interests before executive departments, legislative committees, administrative agencies, and local government bodies. If you have questions regarding Proposition D or the upcoming 2021 Election, please contact David Sweeney, Sonette Magnus, or Mike Crawford.

Firm Highlights
News

61 Lewis Rice Attorneys Named Best Lawyers for 2022, 16 Named Ones to Watch

More
News

Lewis Rice Wins Nearly $500,000 in Compensation for Sarasota Landowners

More
News

Lewis Rice Wins $1.5 Million in Compensation for Covington Landowners

More
Client Alert

FTC Adds Teeth to the ‘Made in USA’ Rule

More
Client Alert

OSHA’s New Guidance Regarding Indoor Mask Wearing, COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates, Regular Testing of Unvaccinated Workers, and More

More
News

Michael D. Mulligan Publishes Article in ACTEC Law Journal Comparing Sales to an Intentionally Defective Irrevocable Trust and a to Beneficiary Intentionally Defective Irrevocable Trust

More
News

Lewis Rice Recognized as Top M&A Firm by BTI Consulting Group

More
News

Four Lewis Rice Attorneys Named 2022 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers

More
News

Neal F. Perryman Named to Missouri’s POWER List in Employment Law by Missouri Lawyers Media

More
News

David W. Sweeney Represents Advantes Group in $7.2 Million Apartment Project

More
Client Alert

Property Owners Can Push the Issue Under Illinois Mechanic’s Lien Law

More
News

Matthew J. Haas Offers Commentary for Inside P&C Article on Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19

More
News

Lauren R. Carey Creates New Blog for Social Media Influencers

More
News

Michael R. Thiessen Recognized as Pro Bono Spotlight by KCMBF for August

More
Client Alert

Missouri Now Requires Employers to Provide Leave and Accommodations for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence

More
Diversity & Inclusion

Golf Foundation of Missouri Awards First Larry L. Deskins, Sr. Scholarship

More
Client Alert

FTC Reverses Course on Treatment of Debt Payoff Under HSR Act

More
News

John C. Bodnar Named BTI M&A Client Service All-Star

More
News

Brian P. Pezza Quoted in SHRM Articles on Employee Vaccination Status Disclosure and Employer Vaccination Policies

More
Client Alert

Supreme Court Limits Ability to Compel Access to Private Property Without Compensation

More