The Latest: Voters OK measure related to bingo games
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on the midterm election in Missouri (all times local):
Missouri voters have approved a constitutional amendment that changes the experience necessary to run a bingo game.
Amendment 4 narrowly passed on Tuesday. It was among several ballot issues facing Missouri voters.
The Missouri Constitution currently requires two years of membership in an organization for someone to run that organization’s bingo game. The experience necessary will drop to six months.
The amendment also removes constitutional language prohibiting advertising of bingo games.
Democrat Nicole Galloway will continue to be the only Democrat elected to a statewide office in state government, after defeating Republican Saundra McDowell in Tuesday’s election.
Galloway was appointed auditor by then-Gov. Jay Nixon in 2015 after the death of Tom Schweich. Before that she served as Boone County treasurer. Galloway said audits during her tenure have identified more than $300 million in waste and abuses, and resulted in nearly three dozen criminal charges.
McDowell, an attorney who previously worked for two state offices, faced concerns about whether she lived in Missouri long enough to hold statewide office. News reports said she had a Kansas address when a furniture company sued her over a payment in 2013. The Missouri Constitution requires 10 years of residency at the time of election.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has conceded to Republican Josh Hawley in their tight race for the U.S. Senate but she promised she would continue fighting for the principles she and her supporters believe in.
McCaskill thanked Missourians for allowing her to serve in a long political career and said she felt good about her service. She urged her supporters to “keep the fire burning, justice is around the corner.”
She joked that her mouth has sometimes caused her trouble but said she has actually tried to be careful about what she said.
“Not anymore,” she said with a smile. “I will be out here fighting with you. I am not going away. I love this state and will continue to serve.”
U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner has won re-election, fighting off a strong challenge from a political newcomer the national Democratic Party thought had a chance to flip the seat.
Republican Wagner defeated 30-year-old Cort VanOstran to win her fourth term representing a suburban St. Louis district. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added the race to its “Red to Blue” list, putting it among Republican-held House seats targeted for takeover, because of Wagner’s strong support for President Donald Trump.
VanOstran is a Harvard-educated lawyer who campaigned on defending the Affordable Care Act. His mother, who died of breast cancer in 2016, was covered by the act. VanOstran said Republican efforts to overturn the act prompted his run for Congress.
Wagner’s campaign featured ads highlighting her efforts to battle sex trafficking.
Republican Josh Hawley has unseated Missouri’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in a national victory for the GOP.
Voters on Tuesday elected the 38-year-old attorney general to the U.S. Senate.
Republicans have long hoped to flip McCaskill’s seat in the increasingly Republican state. Missouri was once considered a bellwether known for picking the successful presidential candidate, but it’s since lost that status and trended right.
President Donald Trump won the state by nearly 19 percentage points. Hawley pinned his campaign to his support for the president.
McCaskill was one of 10 Democratic Senate incumbents up for re-election in states Trump won.
Voters first elected McCaskill to the Senate in 2006. She won re-election in 2012 after Republican candidate Todd Akin said women’s bodies can prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”
Missouri voters have turned down a proposal that would have raised the state’s gas tax to help pay for road and bridge improvements.
Proposition D, voted down on Tuesday, would have increased the state’s 17-cent-per-gallon tax, which is among the lowest in the nation, by 10 cents a gallon. In addition to road and bridge repairs, the money would have helped fund the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson campaigned in support of the tax increase, saying the state’s infrastructure needs are long overdue. SaferMO.com, the group advocating for the gas tax, paid for Parson’s tour.
The Republican-led Legislature referred the measure to the ballot this year.
Missouri voters have a long history of saying no to tax increases. Since voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1996 requiring all tax increases over a certain amount to go to a statewide vote, not a single general tax increase has passed.
Minimum wage workers in Missouri will soon get a boost in pay after voters on Tuesday approved a plan to gradually raise the wage to $12 an hour.
The current minimum wage in Missouri is $7.85 an hour. Proposition B will require the wage to rise to $8.60 an hour in 2019 and gradually increase to $12 an hour by 2023. The organization Raise Up Missouri turned in more than 120,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.
The effort got a boost in September when a Washington, D.C.-based dark money nonprofit, The Sixteen Thirty Fund, donated $3 million to Raise Up Missouri. The Kansas City Star reported it was the largest single contribution in the state in the last two years.
A ballot measure allowing the use of medical marijuana with an emphasis on helping veterans has passed, but two other medical marijuana measures were turned down.
Missouri voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 2, a ballot measure backed by a coalition of patients, doctors and veterans called New Approach Missouri. It was one of three unrelated medical marijuana measures on the ballot.
Under Amendment 2, post-traumatic stress disorder is among the conditions that qualify for use of medical marijuana, along with cancer and other serious illnesses. A 4 percent sales tax will go to a newly-created fund for health and care services for veterans. The sales tax revenue also will be used to administer licensing of medical marijuana businesses.
Voters turned down Amendment 3, which would have included a 15 percent tax to create a new state institute to research “presently incurable diseases.” The effort was largely self-funded by Springfield doctor and attorney Brad Bradshaw.
Also defeated was Proposition C, which would have imposed a 2 percent tax on the sale of medical marijuana.
Republican Billy Long will once again represent southwestern Missouri in Congress.
Long was elected to a fifth term in office representing Missouri’s 7th District on Tuesday, defeating Democratic challenger Jamie Schoolcraft.
Long, who is 62 and lives in Springfield, was elected in 2010 and has never been seriously challenged in subsequent elections. The district is among the most conservative in Missouri. Long is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.
Schoolcraft is a physician assistant, Army National Guardsman and former mayor of Willard. He campaigned on the need to increase access to health care, supported a higher minimum wage, and wanted to increase funding for public education(backslash)
Jason Smith has won re-election in Missouri’s 8th District, defeating Democrat Kathy Ellis in Tuesday’s election.
Smith has represented the district that covers the southeastern corner of Missouri since 2013, when he won a special election to replace Jo Ann Emerson after she became CEO with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Smith, who is 38, is an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump.
Smith sponsored a bill passed by the House last month that seeks to fight opioid addiction by requiring better information to patients about pain management. The bill also establishes a system for storage and disposal of unused opioid prescriptions.
Ellis is a psychotherapist and addiction counselor from Jefferson County. The first-time candidate has said she was “saddened and angry” about the election of Trump.
Missouri voters have approved a state constitutional amendment that will create a new position of nonpartisan demographer to draw state House and Senate boundaries.
Amendment 1, the so-called “Clean Missouri” measure, requires the demographer to draw legislative boundaries based on the 2020 Census using criteria intended to achieve partisan fairness. Maps will be submitted for approval to bipartisan commissions, which will have less leeway than in the past to draft their own plans.
The measure also limits lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, makes legislative records open to the public, lowers campaign contribution limits for legislative candidates and lengthens the time lawmakers must wait after leaving office before becoming lobbyists.
Incumbent Republican Vicky Hartzler has won re-election in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District.
Hartzler defeated Democrat Renee Hoagenson on Tuesday to with a fifth term in the House. The district covers west-central Missouri.
Hoagenson, a 51-year-old single mother from Columbia, works in media and marketing. She sought to make an issue of Hartzler’s support for President Donald Trump, but to no avail.
Hartzler, who is 57, has long been a supporter of Trump, even before his election in 2016.
Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer has won a sixth term representing a large area of eastern Missouri in Congress.
Luetkemeyer, of St. Elizabeth, defeated Democrat Katy Geppert of St. Charles in Missouri’s 3rd District on Tuesday. The district covers part of the St. Louis area and much of east-central Missouri.
Luetkemeyer is 66 and a member of the House Financial Services Committee and is vice chairman of the House Small Business Committee.
Geppert works as a scientist and faced an uphill challenge in the heavily-Republican district.
Emanuel Cleaver has won re-election to Congress after defeating a familiar Republican foe.
Cleaver, a Democrat and former mayor of Kansas City, won his eighth term Tuesday with a win over Jacob Turk. It marked the seventh consecutive general election in which the two men have squared off. Cleaver has won all seven.
The district covers Kansas City and part of the surrounding area.
Their previous matchups have ranged from close to blow-out wins for the 73-year-old Cleaver. The closest races were in 2010, when Cleaver won by a 53-44 percent margin, and in 2014, when Cleaver won with 52 percent of the vote to Turk’s 45 percent.
Turk’s campaign focused on making the border more secure.
Republican U.S. Rep. Sam Graves has won a 10th term in office.
Graves on Tuesday defeated Democrat Henry Martin in Missouri’s 6th District, which covers a wide swath of rural northern Missouri.
Martin, an Army veteran, defeated two other candidates in the August primary but faced a tough challenge in a district that has moved decidedly Republican in recent years.
Graves, of Tarkio, narrowly defeated Democrat Steve Danner in 2000, but has won easily in every general election since then.
Graves serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Veteran Democrat William Lacy Clay will be returning to Washington for a 10th term in Congress.
Clay, of St. Louis, defeated Republican challenger Robert Vroman in Tuesday’s general election.
Clay was first elected in 2000, succeeding his father, Bill Clay, who served in the House for 32 years before retiring. The district covers St. Louis city and north St. Louis County.
Clay is a strong proponent of universal health care. He also is outspoken in support of measures aimed at police accountability.
Vroman narrowly defeated two other candidates in the August primary, but faced long odds in attempting to unseat Clay in a heavily-Democratic district.
Polls have now closed in Missouri, where voters are deciding the fate of a key U.S. Senate race, the state auditor’s race, and several ballot initiatives.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, though people already in line at poll closing time were allowed to vote.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican challenger, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, are in a tight race for a seat that could help decide control of the Senate. Republicans entered Tuesday with a slim 51-49 advantage.
Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway is being challenged by Republican Saundra McDowell. McCaskill and Galloway are Missouri’s only statewide elected Democrats.
Voters also are considering three separate medical marijuana issues, whether to raise the state minimum wage, whether to increase the state gas tax to pay for road and bridge improvements, and whether to approve a plan that would alter how legislative districts are drawn.
7: 10 p.m.
Voters at one polling site in Callaway County cast their ballots in a Catholic Church’s gymnasium that was displaying anti-abortion posters.
At least two voters complained to the Callaway County Clerk’s office and the Secretary of State’s office about the posters at St. Andrews Church in Holt’s Summit.
Missouri law prohibits electioneering within 25 feet of a polling location.
Secretary of State spokeswoman Maura Browning said the law applies to candidates or issues that are on the ballot. Because there was no abortion-related question on the Callaway County or state ballot, the signs are not considered electioneering and did not have to be removed.
Callaway County Clerk Denise Hubbard said she contacted the Secretary of State’s office after receiving a complaint.
A voter in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson calls it “disgraceful” that a ballot delivery mistake forced lengthy waits for some voters, and others gave up and left.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Michael Kelly arrived early Tuesday to vote at Lee Hamilton Elementary School in the town that became famous after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014. He was told there were no paper ballots, so Kelly says he waited nearly 45 minutes for an electronic ballot.
Kelly says some would-be voters didn’t wait and left.
The St. Louis County Election Board’s Democratic director, Eric Fey, says paper ballots were taken to the polling place before doors opened. But when the package was opened, it was discovered that only the top few ballots were the correct ones for that polling place.
Fey says the correct ballots were delivered within an hour.
Many Missouri voters who support medical marijuana are saying they’ve come around to the idea that if it helps people who are ailing, it’s worth it.
Missouri voters on Tuesday faced three separate ballot initiatives that would allow for medical marijuana. The Missouri Secretary of State’s office has a formula for what happens if more than one pass, but experts believe that if that happens, it could still end up in court.
Mary Wartick, a 71-year-old retiree in Chesterfield, voted for Amendment 2 but against the other two medical marijuana proposals. Several voters in Chesterfield say they’ve personally seen relatives with cancer, glaucoma and other medical problems benefit from marijuana.
Some voters in west St. Louis County are making it clear that for them, the midterm election is a referendum on the performance of President Donald Trump.
Turnout appeared to be strong throughout the St. Louis area on Tuesday, with people lined up out the door at many polling places.
At Chesterfield City Hall, 59-year-old Stacy Neuman said she was raised Republican but switched two years ago, after Trump was elected.
For this election, Neuman says she voted a straight Democratic ticket. She figures incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill will be more of a watchdog of Trump than the Republican candidate, Josh Hawley, who has frequently campaigned with the president.
Another voter, 57-year-old Stacy Carey of Chesterfield, also voted for McCaskill with Trump in mind. She’s opposed to his harsh stance on immigration.
Marian Velder, a 59-year-old woman from Liberty, Missouri, voted for Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley because she is “done” with Democrats.
“I have had it up to here,” said Velder, while putting her hand above her head. “I am never voting for a Democrat again.”
Velder said she once voted for Democrats but President Donald Trump has her eyes to an “undercurrent of liberalism” across the country. She said Democrats no longer stand for the idealism she believed in past decades.
Nicholas Bowers, of Liberty, said he voted for Democrat U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in part because he was disappointed with how Hawley conducted himself since being elected state attorney general in 2016.
Bowers, 28, a worker for Ford Motor Co., said he was upset with the attorney general’s support of a right-to-work law and his “ridiculous” investigation into former Gov. Eric Greitens,′ who faced several scandals before he resigned in June.
Voters are experiencing some problems as they cast their ballots in Missouri.
The Kansas City Star reports that the power was out when voters arrived Tuesday at the Coves Clubhouse in northern Kansas City. Platte County Board of Elections director Wendy Flanigan says voters were able to continue voting during the outage. The ballots were submitted to an emergency compartment so they could be feed back into the reader when power was restored.
Clay County Board of Election Commissioners director Patty Lamb says there have been issues with some voter machines not working properly, but they have addressed the issue and everything was fixed.
In Jackson County, a ballot counter at the Lee’s Summit City Hall was down for about 20 minutes before a different machine was brought in.
Turnout appears strong as voters cast ballots in a tight race that will determine whether incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill can withstand a challenge from Republican Josh Hawley.
In south St. Louis, 37-year-old Amanda Cline waited almost an hour for a ballot. She told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it “almost feels like a presidential election.” She says its “good to see a lot of people.”
Outside Rock Bridge Christian Church in Columbia, the line began forming before the doors opened. Poll volunteer Lisa Glass told the Columbia Missourian that it is the most voters she has ever seen.
Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller described the lines as steady. The Springfield News-Leader reports that by 10 a.m. Tuesday, 12 percent of all active voters in the county had cast their ballots.
Polls have opened in Missouri as voters cast ballots to decide whether to send Democrat Claire McCaskill back to the senate and approve ballot measures that would raise the minimum wage and allow medical marijuana.
McCaskill is running against Josh Hawley, the young challenger backed by President Donald Trump. Hawley, the 38-year-old, Ivy-league educated state attorney general, says the 65-year-old McCaskill is too liberal for Missouri. Trump won the state by 19 points in 2016.
McCaskill campaigned as a moderate and focused on health care issues. Republicans badly want to defeat McCaskill after she survived in 2012 when her opponent made a major gaffe.
Missouri voters also will face ballot measures Tuesday to raise the gas tax and a major change to drawing district boundaries after the 2020 census.
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has survived near-political death before in the red state of Missouri.
Voters on Tuesday will decide whether to re-elect her over Josh Hawley, the young challenger backed by President Donald Trump.
Hawley, the 38-year-old, Ivy-league educated state attorney general, says the 65-year-old McCaskill is too liberal for Missouri. Trump won the state by 19 points in 2016.
McCaskill campaigned as a moderate and focused on health care issues.
Republicans badly want to defeat McCaskill after she survived in 2012 when her opponent made a major gaffe.
Missouri voters also will face several ballot measures including three separate proposals for medical marijuana, a measure to raise the minimum wage, one to raise the gas tax and a major change to drawing district boundaries after the 2020 census.