In today’s special election 465 voters in Ferguson’s Ward 2 turned out to cast votes on the ballot initiative to vote on whether Councilor J. Toni Burrow should be recalled. (This total includes the three “Anywhere” votes cast at the other two poll sites in the county. The lone voter at St. Ann verified they were a Ferguson voter and the additional two “Anywhere” votes in Maplewood can only be attributed to Ferguson.) Turnout was about 12% of the current registered voters.
326 (70%) of the voters choice “yes” and 139 (30%) of the voters choose “no.”
The petition was signed by over 600 people and the original call for signers can be seen here at this link. 568 of those signatures were accepted as eligible voters by the Board of Election’s results here at this link.
J. Toni Burrow was elected to her current term on April 6, 2021 in a three-way race between Burrow, Erica Brooks, and Arbie Peterson. She garnered 328 votes of 651 votes cast at that time. She won that election with just two more votes than the votes cast today to remove her.
The St. Louis County Board of Elections must first certify the Official Election Results and verify the final total, including any ballots provisionally cast. (At least one provisional vote was cast, as admitted by the Observer editor and mayoral candidate Nick Kasoff. Kasoff required a trip to the DMV as he could not locate his driver’s license. Kasoff’s vote was confirmed as a full vote, but is not counted in the automated tally. This appears to have possibly been be added tonight to the overall total.)
Once certified, the City Charter in Section 8.8.1 states “If a majority of the qualified electors voting on a proposed initiative ordinance vote in its favor, it shall be considered adopted upon certification of the election results and shall be treated in all respects in the same manner as ordinances of the same kind as if adopted by the council.”
The City Charter provides in Section 3.5.3 for the filling of the vacancy to be selected by the remaining council members, excluding the mayor. If the council fails to fill the vacancy within 30 days of the effective date of the removal, the mayor will select a replacement.
What About the Mayoral Election?
Toni Burrow is on the April ballot for mayor, running against incumbent Ella M. Jones and Nick Kasoff. It would require a court order for her name to be removed from the ballot. However, the City Charter in Section 8.8.3 states “An official who has been recalled shall be ineligible to serve in any city office during the remainder of the term for which he was originally elected.” If Burrow were to be elected, she will be ineligible to take the seat.