Jefferson City voters will see few races and one issue on Tuesday's ballot.
Fourth Ward residents are the only ones being asked to make a choice between two candidates for a seat on the Jefferson City Council, where incumbent Carrie Tergin is seeking her final term on the council against challenger Glen Costales.
All city residents will be asked if the city should change its charter to eliminate primary elections, a move which could save the city about $28,000 per year in election costs. State law took away February primary dates in 2012, except in cases where a charter city specifically requires a February date. Because Jefferson City's charter only specifies a primary and not when the primary should take place, it had to be moved to March, which posed significant issues for the Cole County clerk.
City primaries only take place when three or more candidates file for the same city office, with the top two candidates squaring off in an April general election. If one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, no general election is held and that candidate wins the office.
Five candidates are also vying for three seats on the Jefferson City School Board. Two of the five - John Ruth and Tami Turner - are incumbents who hope to serve their second and fourth terms, respectively. Ken Theroff, is a newcomer to the Board of Education since he was appointed to fill Marie People's seat last November. A fourth candidate - Harold Coots - is running his second campaign for a seat on the board. A fifth candidate, Steve Bruce, is launching his first campaign.
For the Blair Oaks School Board, six candidates are seeking three open seats. Three of the six are campaigning together as a team. Tim Van Ronzelen and Matt Fifer are incumbents who want to be re-elected; Peggy Luebbert served on the board between 2009-11 and is running once more. Challengers Dawn and Bret Brooks are a married couple who moved to the district in 2010. Although they are campaigning independently, they have a collegial relationship and share many - though not all - of the same views. A sixth candidate, Alicia Luebbering, is a political newcomer from St. Thomas.
Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7 p.m. For a complete list of voting locations and sample ballots, visit the Cole County clerk's website, at www.colecounty.org/clerk, or see the compilation Cole County sample ballot posted here.
For detailed information about the candidates and issues, see these stories: