The region and the state of Missouri have rarely held major November elections in an off-year, when there's no congressional or statewide offices to share the ballot and draw in voters.Be sure to click over and read the whole thing. Mannies goes on to cite "consultants on both sides of the ballot issues" who were predicting a turnout of 10-15 percent.
And the success rate for tax measures offered during such off-year votes isn't good.
The last one held in St. Louis County, election officials say, was in November 1997. That's when county voters were asked to consider Proposition M, a small sales tax increase for public transportion.
The voter turnout was 22 percent. Proposition M got killed, capturing less than 42 percent of the vote.
Statewide, there's also the cautionary tale of Proposition B -- a major education-tax package presented to voters in November 1991. Despite a flurry of publicity, high-profile bipartisan support and polls predicting victory, Proposition B was soundly rejected.
Why? The low voter turnout. Despite the TV ad blitz, only about a third of Missouri voters showed up to cast ballots on Proposition B. Most of the presumed supporters stayed home.
This time, St. Louis County election officials are predicting a turnout of about 20-25 percent, in part because of the passions swirling around the second issue on the county's Nov. 3 ballot: Proposition N, the proposed ban on smoking in most public places.