Lack of ballots mars municipal elections in St. Louis County, Missouri

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 06, 2016 12:21 AM

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - A shortage of ballot papers during municipal elections in St. Louis County, Missouri, on Tuesday prompted a judge to extend voting hours at affected polling stations, officials said.

A state appeals court judge ruled that the affected sites should stay open an extra two hours to close at 9 p.m. local time, the St. Louis County Election Board said in a statement on its website.

Janna Greenwalt, a worker for the board, said a minority of more than 400 polling sites had been affected, but she was unable to be more specific. However, St. Louis television station KTVI reported that more than 50 polling sites had been affected.

Some of the voting sites had already closed when the judge's order was handed down, county election officials said, and voters were invited to cast their ballots at the board's headquarters.

The municipal election in St. Louis County featured races for city council and school board seats in numerous jurisdictions. Those included Ferguson, the city that saw heavy protests in 2014 over the shooting death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Voting in St. Louis city, which is separate from the county and runs its own elections, went ahead without a hitch.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat, said his office would investigate the county's voting problems, St. Louis television station KSDK reported.

(Reporting by Greg Bailey in St. Louis and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)