Jennifer Davis, 45, of Arnold web.jpg

Jennifer Davis, 45, casts a vote in Tuesday's municipal election at the precinct located at the Fox C-6 Service Center.

When the history is written of the April municipal election that was held in June, other than that fact, Jefferson County voters may remember two things.

One, of course, is the face masks, hand sanitizer and plastic shields at all the polling places.

The second is that not many of us turned out to vote.

In final, unofficial results, Jefferson County’s turnout of 11.7 percent was the lowest for a spring municipal election since 2014, when 11.26 percent cast ballots.

In all, 17,772 of the 151,830 registered voters cast ballots either on Tuesday or before, by absentee ballot.

County Clerk Ken Waller said the unusually strong wave of absentee ballots helped inflate the turnout number, which he predicted at about 10 percent.

“Take away the almost 2 percent who voted absentee (2,929 absentee ballots, 1.9 percent of the registered voter total) and we’re in single digits,” he said. “It’s totally expected, but as the county election authority, I like to see people exercise their right to vote, and in this election, 10 percent of the people got to decide elections for the other 90 percent. That’s sad. But I guess the people who didn’t vote don’t have a right to complain.”

Waller said he didn’t figure that the decision by Gov. Mike Parson to delay the April election to June in the middle of stay-at-home orders to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic had much effect on the turnout.

“I don’t think that moving the election was a big factor, but COVID-19 definitely was,” he said. “We lost probably 75 to 80 poll workers in the last four weeks, and that shows you that if they didn’t want to come to work, how many people didn’t want to come to vote?”

Those who did report to the polls, Waller said, for the most part were pleased by what they saw.

“I probably visited three-fourths of the polling places, and I talked to voters,” he said. “There were a few minor complaints, as usual, but for the most part, people said they were happy to see the hand sanitizer available and all the other precautions we put in place. They liked the protective shields (between poll workers and voters). One woman told me that she was a little scared to come to vote, but it was better than she thought it would be and she felt safe. That’s what we were trying to do.

“I told the poll workers that this was just a warm-up for the August primary election. Everything we did this time, we’ll be doing in August,” he said.

Jefferson County’s ballot included nine ballot issues, and five of them passed. Heading into the election, officials had expressed concern that voters might not be of a mind to approve tax increases and bond issues with the economy teetering and people losing their jobs.

“I was happy to see the results in Fox C-6 and Crystal City schools, particularly,” Waller said. “Those passed overwhelmingly. So did Proposition Safety in Herculaneum (a sales tax increase to help public safety initiatives).”

Olympian Village voters approved the sale of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and Byrnes Mill also passed a public safety issue, also tied to a 1-cent sales tax increase.

“I know that some people were saying this might have turned out to be the worst time to put a ballot issue before voters, but we didn’t see that,” Waller said. “A low turnout generally favors ballot issues, assuming you’re getting your people out to vote.”

Fire and ambulance districts with ballot issues didn’t fare as well, as requests by the Big River Ambulance District, Hillsboro Fire Protection District and two requests by the Dunklin Fire Protection District all went down to defeat.

Final, unofficial results from Tuesday's municipal election. Winners in bold. Incumbents listed with an (I). Unless noted, ballot issues require a simple majority for passage.
JEFFERSON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT  
Marc Williams5,32520.02%
Amber M. Henry (I)6,63424.94%
Susan (Suzy) Davis6,46324.30%
Brandy R. Sheehan4,66617.54%
Ernie Morfeld3,36112.64%
JEFFERSON COUNTY 911 DISPATCH  
Chairman  
John M. Scullin (I)6,82352.76%
Jeremy Day6,01446.51%
District 2  
David Kennedy (I)4,35962.32%
Michael D. McElrath2,59337.07%
ARNOLD  
Treasurer  
Tammy Fulbright97547.94%
Daniel C. Kroupa (I)1,04951.57%
City Council, Ward 3  
Michael D. Allen19230.67%
Steven A. Buss7812.46%
Rodney D. Mullins35356.39%
BYRNES MILL  
Board of Alderpersons, Ward 2  
Cynthia Davies (I)6563.73%
Bob Mahlandt3635.29%
Proposition Public Safety  
(1-cent sales tax increase)  
Yes22462.92%
No 13237.08%
EUREKA  
   
Board of Aldermen  
Ward 1  
Jerry Diekmann30676.90%
Brian Smith9223.10%
Ward 2  
Bryan Kiefer (I)11741.20%
Kevin Kilpatrick16758.80%
Ward 3  
Jerry Holloway (I)14769.70%
Brian Johnson6430.30%
FESTUS  
City Council, Ward 3  
Robert (Bobby) Venz14756.11%
Marcus Shepherd11543.89%
HERCULANEUM  
Proposition Public Safety  
(1-cent sales tax increase)  
Yes27759.57%
No 18840.43%
KIMMSWICK  
Board of Aldermen, Ward 2  
Don Jones1260.00%
Donna Paskiewicz (I)840.00%
OLYMPIAN VILLAGE  
Proposition A  
(Sale of sewer system)  
Yes3756.06%
No 2943.94%
SCOTSDALE  
Board of Trustees  
Kellie Kopp1825.35%
John Caola (I)2230.99%
Gary L. Brown (I)1723.94%
Justin Denochick (I)1216.90%
CRYSTAL CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT  
Linda K. Schilly (I)24121.83%
Cynthia S. Coleman (I)23421.20%
Krystle Lynn Wideman27124.55%
Lonnie J. Compton (I)20618.66%
James Joseph Berger15013.59%
Proposition KIDS  
(80-cent tax shift)  
Yes37184.51%
No 6815.49%
FESTUS R-6 SCHOOL DISTRICT  
Brent Abrams (I)98127.66%
Tracy Anderson87424.46%
Marcus Shepherd (I)79822.33%
Doreen Berezowski (I)89224.97%
FOX C-6 SCHOOL DISTRICT  
Michelle Chamberlain3,44919.04%
Robert (Bob) Gruenewald3,12317.24%
Krystal Hargis3,93421.72%
James (Jim) Osia1,6278.98%
Colton A. Kruep2,63314.53%
Avery A. Fortenberry1,0245.65%
Scott Stewart (I)2,26012.48%
Proposition P  
$40 million bond issue  
(Four-sevenths majority required)  
Yes5,58975.31%
No 1,83224.69%
JEFFERSON R-7 SCHOOL DISTRICT  
Jimmy Jackson (I)68825.44%
Justin Neel69125.55%
James "Pete" McPeters64323.78%
Tammy Grayum2067.62%
Tracey Perry (I)2549.39%
Chris Hastings2198.10%
NORTHWEST R-1 SCHOOL DISTRICT  
Sherri K. Talbott (I)1,77326.53%
Joseph M. Gentile76011.37%
Retta “Susan” Tuggle (I)1,55823.31%
Nelson O. Weber1,01615.20%
Mary Ella Thomasson1,54023.04%
SUNRISE R-9 SCHOOL DISTRICT  
Michael O'Brien8018.26%
Holly Lawson13430.59%
Justin Peppers11125.34%
David Sebastian (I)11325.80%
WINDSOR C-1 SCHOOL DISTRICT  
Michael Scott Brothers (I)60024.70%
Timothy C. McCraw (I)69628.65%
Dan Shaul (I)65326.88%
Frances A. Newkirk46819.27%
ANTONIA FPD  
Greg Dohack (I)99765.55%
Gretchen Noeth36724.13%
Avery A. Fortenberry15310.06%
DUNKLIN FPD  
Proposition S  
(25-cent property tax increase)  
Yes26234.70%
No 49365.30%
Proposition P  
(5-cent property tax increase for pensions)  
Yes27836.53%
No 48363.47%
HILLSBORO FPD  
Proposition 24-7  
(50-cent property tax increase)  
Yes32448.29%
No 34751.71%
BIG RIVER AMBULANCE  
Proposition EMS  
(35-cent property tax increase)  
Yes62239.27%
No 96260.73%
ROCK TOWNSHIP AMBULANCE  
Lindsay Fry Sleet4,02032.48%
Dean C. Meenach3,00524.28%
Jeremy Day3,04624.61%
Avery A. Fortenberry2,24918.17%
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