A St. Louis County judge has ordered a new election on Sept. 24 to settle a ballot problem that marred a state House race that was decided by one vote last month. The county Board of Election Commissioners had petitioned the court for a new election after it learned that workers at a polling place in Brentwood accidentally passed out the wrong ballots to 102 voters in the Democratic primary Aug. 7 between state representatives Stacey Newman and Susan Carlson in the 87th District. Newman won by a single vote, 1,823 to 1,822. The court’s ruling, handed down Monday by Circuit Judge Michael T. Jamison, states: “The margin of separation between Newman and Carlson is only one vote. And, it is clear that more than 100 voters were given the incorrect ballot, and that approximately one-third of the persons receiving the wrong ballot voted a Democratic ballot. “Whether the number of votes of doubtful validity is viewed as being more than 100, or 69, or 35, or some other number, the magnitude of the potentially improper votes is many times greater than the one vote that separates Newman and Carlson.”
Newman had asked the court to stand by the results of Aug. 7, but Jamison rejected Newman’s argument. “Whether or not anyone may deem the Election Board to have certified the results of the 87th District race is irrelevant to this proceeding,” he wrote. Newman said: “My concern is that this whole process is done legally and fairly according to our election statutes.” Carlson could not be reached for comment.