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GOP city elections official to head to Kosovo

Cartographer of the United Nations
Wikimedia Commons

The Republican elections director in St. Louis City will head to Kosovothis week to oversee the country's elections.

Scott Leiendecker leaves for the Balkan nation on Dec 8.  He's part of a team from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, which provides technical support to countries who might not be accustomed to holding democratic elections.

"I don't know what to expect, but I'm extremely excited to be able to help a country that has had turmoil over its lifespan, basically," he said. "There are going to be people that I possibly run into that have never voted before and are excited to do so, so this is going to be something that for me personally is going to be very rewarded and exciting."

It's the first time Leiendecker has ever worked overseas. He's widely credited with improving the operations of St. Louis city elections since he was hired in 2005. He'll join about 40 other volunteers from around the world to serve as staff at polling places where Kosovar elections officials could not find enough people to do so.

The Dec. 12 elections, the first balloting since Kosovo became an independent state in 2008, are the result of a no-confidence vote against the former government in November.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.