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A guide to municipal elections in mid-Missouri

A woman votes in the presidential primary election in Kansas City, Mo., on March 10, 2020. Missouri Democrats and unaffiliated voters will participate Saturday, March 23, 2024, in the state's first party-run presidential primary since Republican lawmakers canceled the state-run presidential primary in 2022. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
Charlie Riedel/AP
A woman votes in the presidential primary election in Kansas City, Mo., on March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Municipal elections are for local governments. Local governments are responsible for the day-to-day functioning of your city or town from the fire department to the roll carts you put on the side of the road.

Here’s some explainers of the major positions that you could see on your ballot:


The responsibility of a mayor varies depending on the city’s governance structure. In some cities, the mayor is a full-time position that fills the role of chief executive. But in many cities, the mayor is a figurehead position that sets the agenda for the year, with a city manager being the one working the day-to-day.

Aldermen and city councilmen

Aldermen and councilmen are fairly similar. They serve as the city's legislative body. From approving the budget to passing ordinances, Aldermen make the rules for the city. Not always, but often they will be assigned into geographical areas like wards or districts that they are tasked to represent.

Board of Trustees

The board of trustees functions similarly to a city council, but they are the only form of municipal governance that “villages,” a population under 2500, can have. Larger populations can also have these boards, but they have more members.

Board of education and school board

These bodies manage the policy of the school districts they represent, including where the money goes, what the snow day policy is and what the curriculum is. The superintendent is the manager of the board and is appointed by the members.

Ballot measures

These are measures to put on the ballot that need to be put before a vote from the public. These measures can include anything from approving a budget to putting a new law on the books or even deciding a constitutional amendment.

Our partners in the Missouri News Network have put together this guide for how to vote, including where your polling place and what to bring with you to vote.

And below is a list of some sample ballots for mid-Missouri counties. Keep in mind, the documents were collected before March 15, so what’s on the final ballot might be different. For updated election information please check your county clerk’s website — which is linked right below the ballots.

Adair County clerk website

Audrain County clerk website

Boone County Clerk website

Callaway County clerk website

Chariton County clerk website

Cole County Clerk website

Cooper County clerk website

Howard County clerk website

Macon County clerk website

Montgomery County clerk website

Osage County Clerk website

Pettis County clerk website

Randolph County clerk website

Saline County clerk website

Alex Cox is a Junior in the Missouri School of Journalism. They're a reporter and producer for KBIA.
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