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Voters in St. Louis’ 28th Ward voters set to pick new alderman

Heather Navarro, Celeste Vossmeyer and Steve Roberts Sr. are the three major candidates for the vacant 28th Ward aldermanic seat.
Navarro, Vossmeyer and Roberts via campaign websites
Heather Navarro, Celeste Vossmeyer and Steve Roberts Sr. are the three major candidates for the vacant 28th Ward aldermanic seat.

Updated at 1:28 p.m. with details about voter ID law during election — Voters in the 28th Ward will choose their new representative on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

Polls in the ward, which covers parts of the neighborhoods around Forest Park, are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The seat has been vacant since April, when Lyda Krewson was sworn in as mayor. The winner will serve the remaining two years of her term.

The candidates:

  • Heather Navarro, the Democratic nominee, is the executive director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. She has Krewson’s endorsement.
  • Steve Roberts, Sr., who is running as an independent candidate, was an alderman representing part of north St. Louis from 1979 to 1993. He’s a former real estate developer and served as chief of staff for St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts.
  • Celeste Vossmeyer, who is running as an independent candidate, is an attorney. She was previously general counsel for the BiState Development Agency, which runs the region’s transportation system. Vossmeyer has raised the most money.
  • Jerome Bauer, the Green Party candidate, most recently ran for comptroller. He’s focused on the rights of homeless individuals and sustainable development

Read more about the major candidates and their priorities here.

This is the second election under Missouri’s new voter identification law, which makes state-issued photo IDs the preferred form of identification. A voter who does not either have a state-issued ID or does not present one can still vote using a few other things, but will have to sign a statement acknowledging that they are supposed to use a photo ID. There is also the possibility to vote with a provisional ballot.

Republican Director of Elections Gary Stoff said turnout was lower than expected on Tuesday morning, and there was only one case of a voter needing to cast a provisional ballot due to lack of identification. 

"But we found them in the electronic poll pad. So, we said, 'Fine, you fill out the envelope, here's your ballot. When you're done voting, you put the ballot in the envelope. You seal the ballot. Give it back to us. We'll put it under lock and key,'" Stoff said. He added that the voter has been told to check back with elections officials this week to see whether the ballot counted.

A spokeswoman for Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft said the first election under the new law, which was June 20 in far southeast Missouri, went smoothly.

Read about the state’s new voter ID law here.

The winner will take his or her seat a week from Friday, Stoff said.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

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

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