Nominations and Elections
Section 7. 1. City elections.
(a) Regular elections.The regular city election shall be held on the first Tuesday in April in each even numbered year.
(b) Special elections.The council may by resolution order special elections, fix the time for such elections, and provide for holding such elections.
(c) Conduct of elections.All city elections shall be nonpartisan and governed by the provisions of this charter and of applicable state law. The council may by ordinance further regulate city elections consistent with the provisions of this charter and state law.
Section 7.2. Nominations by petition.
(a) Nominations.Nominations of candidates for all elective offices shall be by petition. Petitions nominating candidates shall be signed by not less than 100 registered voters of the city. The signatures shall be executed in ink. Each signer shall indicate next to the signer's signature the date of signing and the signer's place of residence, giving the street and number or other description sufficient to identify the signer's place of residence. The council by ordinance shall designate the appropriate form for nominating petitions and for acceptance of nominations.
(b) Filing and acceptance.All separate papers comprising a nominating petition shall be assembled and filed with the City Clerk as one instrument not earlier than 180 days before the close of filing and not later than one week prior to the time when the city must certify the candidates to the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners. The City Clerk shall make a record of the exact time when each petition is filed. No nominating petition shall be accepted unless accompanied by a signed acceptance of the nomination.
(c) Procedure after filing.Within five days after the filing of a nominating petition, the City Clerk shall certify the petition to the St. Louis County Board of El 19 ion Commissioners to verify the signatures. Promptly upon receipt of the report of the Board of Election Commissioners, the City Clerk shall notify the candidate and the person who filed the petition whether or not it is sufficient. If a petition is not sufficient, the City Clerk shall return it immediately to the person who filed it with a statement certifying wherein it is found to be insufficient. Within the regular time for filing petitions, such a petition may be amended and filed again or a new petition may be filed for the candidate. The City Clerk shall keep on file all petitions found sufficient at least until the expiration of the term for which the candidates are nominated in those petitions.
Section 7.3. Preparation of ballots.The City Clerk shall cause the names of the candidates to appear on all ballots in the order in which the candidates filed petitions for nominations which were verified and accepted. The candidates shall appear on the ballot without party designations.
Section 7.4. Election procedure and determination of results.
(a) Voting.At the city election each elector shall be entitled to vote for the number of candidates who are to be elected Council Members and in the mayoral election shall be entitled to vote for one candidate for the office of Mayor.
(b) Council Members.Upon receipt of the results of the city election the city council shall notify the candidates who have been elected Council Member. The number of candidates, equal to the number of Council Members positions to be filled in the city council, receiving the highest number of votes shall be certified elected. In the event of a tie in a significant position such tie shall be resolved by a special run-off election between the candidates who have tied which special election shall be held within thirty-five (35) days of the certification of the election results or at the next available election date provided by law.
(c) Mayor.Upon receipt of the results of the city election the city council shall certify the mayoral candidate receiving the highest number of votes to be elected to the office of Mayor. in the event of a tie, such tie shall be resolved by a special run-off election between the candidates who have tied, which special election shall be held within thirty-five (35) days of the certification of the election results or at the next available election date provided by law.
Initiative, Referendum and Recall
Section 8.1. General authority.
(a) Initiative.The registered voters of the city shall have power to propose ordinances to the council and, if the council fails to adopt an ordinance so proposed without any change in substance, the registered voters shall have the power to adopt or reject the proposed ordinance at an election. The initiative power shall not extend to any ordinance relating to zoning, salaries of city officers or employees, or requiring any appropriation of money unless such ordinance provides for additional revenues therefore. No proposed initiative ordinance shall contain more than one subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title.
(b) Referendum.The registered voters of the city shall have power to require reconsideration by the council of any adopted ordinance and, if the council fails to repeal an ordinance so reconsidered, the registered voters shall have the power to approve or reject it at an election. The referendum power shall not extend to any emergency ordinance, any ordinance levying a special assessment or providing for the issuance of special tax bills, or any ordinance appropriating money or levying taxes.
(c) Recall.(i) Any elected official may be removed by the registered voters. No elected official shall be subject to recall within six months after induction into office nor during the last six months of the official's term. If the elected official is retained in office upon any recall election, the official shall not be subject to recall within six months after such recall election.
(ii) The recall question shall be submitted to the voters in substantially the following form:
Name____________ Title ________________
be removed from office? Yes No
Section 8.2. Commencement of proceedings; petitioners' committee; affidavit.Any ten registered voters may commence initiative, referendum, or recall proceedings by filing with the City Clerk an affidavit stating they will constitute the petitioners' committee and be responsible for circulating the petition and filing it in proper form. The affidavit shall also contain the following information which may be in separate documents attached to the affidavit and incorporated by reference:
(i) The names and addresses of each committee member.
(ii) The address to which all notices to the committee should be sent.
(iii) The ordinance, in full, which the committee desires to be adopted or reconsidered, or the name and office of the official sought to be recalled.
The City Clerk shall issue the appropriate petition blanks to the petitioners' committee promptly after its affidavit is filed. At such time the City Clerk shall also furnish the committee in writing the total number of persons registered to vote at the last regular city election.
Section 8.3. Petitions.
(a) Number of signatures.
(i) Initiative.Initiative petitions must be signed by a number of registered voters equal to at least 5% of the total number of persons registered to vote at the last regular city election.
(ii) Referendum.Referendum petitions must be signed by a number of registered voters equal to at least 10% of the total number of persons registered to vote at the last regular city election.
(iii) Recall.Recall petitions must be signed by a number of registered voters equal to at least 15% of the total number of persons registered to vote at the last regular city election.
(b) Form and content.All papers of a petition shall be uniform in size and style and shall be assembled as one instrument for filing. Each signature shall be executed in ink and shall be followed by the address of the person signing. Petitions shall contain or have attached thereto throughout their circulation the full text of the ordinance proposed or sought to be reconsidered, or the name and office of the official for whom recall is sought.
(c) Affidavit of circulator.Each paper of a petition shall have attached to it when filed an affidavit executed by the circulator thereof stating that such circulator personally circulated the paper, the number of signatures thereon, that all the signatures were affixed in the presence of such circulator, that the circulator believes them to be the genuine signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be and that each signer had an opportunity before signing to read the full text of the ordinance proposed or sought to be reconsidered.
(d) Time for filing referendum petitions.Referendum petitions must be filed within 30 days after adoption by the council of the ordinance sought to be reconsidered.
Section 8.4. Procedure after filing.
(a) Certificate of City Clerk; amendment.Within twenty days after a petition with the apparent number of required signatures is filed, the City Clerk shall complete a certificate as to its sufficiency, specifying, if it is insufficient, the reasons it is defective. A copy of the certificate shall promptly be sent to the petitioner's committee by registered mail. A petition certified insufficient for lack of the required number of valid signatures may be amended once if the petitioner's committee files a notice of intention to amend it with the clerk within two days after receiving the copy of such certificate and files a supplementary petition upon additional papers within ten days after receiving the copy of such certificate. Such supplementary petition shall comply with the requirements of subsections (b) and (c) of Section 8.3, and within five days after it is filed the City Clerk shall complete a certificate as to the sufficiency of the petition as amended and promptly send a copy of such certificate to the petitioners' committee by registered mail as in the case of an original petition. If a petition is certified to be insufficient and no timely amended petition is filed, or if an amended petition is certified to be insufficient, no further action shall be had thereon and such determination shall be deemed the final determination.
(b) Court review; new petition.A final determination as to the sufficiency of a petition shall be subject to court review in the manner provided by law for review of administrative decisions. A final determination of insufficiency, even if sustained upon court review, shall not prejudice the filing of a new petition for the same purpose.
Section 8.5. Referendum petitions; suspension of effect of ordinance.When a referendum petition is timely filed with the City Clerk, the ordinance sought to be reconsidered shall be suspended from taking effect. Such suspension shall terminate when:
(a) There is a final determination of insufficiency of the petition, or
(b) The petitioners' committee withdraws the petition, or
(c) The council repeals the ordinance, or
(d) The election results sustaining the ordinance have been certified.
Section 8.6. Action on petitions for initiative and referendum.
(a) Action by council.When an initiative or referendum petition has been determined sufficient, the council shall promptly consider the proposed initiative ordinance in the manner provided in Article III or reconsider the referred ordinance by voting its repeal. If the council fails to adopt a proposed initiative ordinance without any change in substance within 60 days or fails to repeal the referred ordinance within 30 days after the date the petition was finally determined sufficient, it shall submit the proposed or referred ordinance to the voters of the city.
(b) Submission to voters.The vote of the city on a proposed or referred ordinance shall be held not less than 30 days and not later than 120 days from the date of the final council vote thereon. If no regular city election is to be held within the period prescribed in this subsection, the council shall provide for a special election; otherwise, the vote shall be held at the same time as such regular election, except that the council may in its discretion provide for a special election at an earlier date within the prescribed period. Copies of the proposed or referred ordinance shall be made available at the polls.
Section 8.7. Actions on petitions for recall.When a recall petition has been certified to the city council as sufficient by the City Clerk, the city council shall at its next meeting after receipt of such certification fix a date for holding the election.
The election shall be held at the next available regular or special election date for which timely notice may be given.