The City of St. Louis Board of Election (BEC) Commission quietly changed the job qualifications for its second-in-command Democrat just days after posting the original position online.
On Aug. 28, the board began soliciting applicants for the Deputy Democratic Director of Elections. Then, one of the requirements was a college degree. But by Sept. 7, the job specification had been altered — the necessity of having obtained a college degree was removed.
It is rare for a job qualification to be altered so close to the original posting date. Typically, requirements are altered following an unsatisfactory applicant pool.
“A degree in Business Administration, Management Information Systems, Political Science, Public Administration, or another closely related field from an accredited college or university preferred,” the job posting now says.
The original posting said a degree in the listed field was “required.”
A spokesperson for the election board declined to comment on the specifics of why the change was made, instead noting the commissioners voted to alter the requirement during a closed executive session earlier this month. Personnel matters are mostly decided in closed sessions.
Applicants have until Sept. 23 to apply. The closing date did not change when the position was amended.
The position has traditionally been held by an individual with a college education — even when it was not a required qualification. In 2011 and 2012, the deputy director position was posted with a degree in the listed field as “required.” In 2015, the board sought applicants with a degree “preferred” and ended up hiring someone who had a Master’s.
Two deputy directors — one Democrat and one Republican — are required to serve on the board as its second-in-command.
As members of the St. Louis City Board of Elections management team — which also includes the Democratic and Republican directors of elections along with the Democratic and Republican assistant deputy directors — the deputy directors are responsible for recommending and developing program goals and objectives and implementing policies, procedures and courses of action to enable the BEC to conduct elections in the City of St. Louis in compliance with federal, state and municipal laws, rules, and regulations.
The board consists of Chairperson Jerry M. Hunter, Secretary Joseph A. Barbaglia, Gene Todd, and Geraldine Kraemer. Leo G. (Gary) Stoff, Jr. serves as the Republican director, and Steven J. Capizzi is the Democratic director.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at email@example.com.