New election scheduled for Sept. 30.
Circuit Court Judge William Hickle has ordered the results from the Aug. 5 St. James Proposition A—library tax—be thrown out. After a hearing Aug. 20, where the results were tossed, a special election was also scheduled for Sept. 30 for the tax.
The tax, which is a 30-cent tax levied against $100 of assessed property value, will be the only issue on the ballot.
Since Proposition A is a city tax, only those who reside within city limits will be allowed to vote in the election.
"The election will be held at the regular voting locations," Phelps County Clerk Carol Bennett said.
Wards 1, 2 and 3 will vote at the Nelson Hart Community Building, 1340 Nelson Hart Dr. in St. James, while Ward 4 voters will go to the polls at the St. James VFW, 18775 State Route KK in St. James.
The County Clerk's office contested the returns of the election after a clerical miscue during the Aug. 5 election resulted in at least 11 city voters receiving out-of-city ballots, which omitted the library tax issue. Of the 11 known voters who received the incorrect ballot type, the county clerk's office was able to contact nine, who were given the chance to cast a single issue ballot, either at their local voting location or at the clerk's office in Rolla. Five revoted, four did not. There were reports of other voters who lived within the city and did not receive the correct ballot type during election day.
The Aug. 5 election results for the tax passed by two votes 340-338, but because of the close margin of the vote and the ballot irregularities, the county clerk's office contested the vote.
The election will cost about $1,200, including the cost of election judges, programming and the usual costs accompanying a vote, Bennett said.
Absentee voting for the special election is now available in the county clerk's office. Deadline to vote absentee is 5 p.m. Sept. 29. An application for absentee ballots may only be completed by a voter or the voter's next of kin.
The Phelps County Clerk's office will be open 8 a.m. to noon the Saturday before the election, Sept. 27, for absentee voting. In order to be counted, absentee ballots must be received by the county clerk's office no later than 7 p.m. Sept. 30, delivered by the voter or through mail. Mailed ballots will not be sent out to voters after 5 p.m. Sept. 24, unless a voter is hospitalized. For more information call (573) 458-6101.