Backers of Prop A used old, new methods to get message out

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

Old school met new school in the successful sale of the St. Louis County transit tax.

Chesterfield Mayor John Nations, who ran the Proposition A campaign, believed that if voters were armed with all the facts, they would support the half-cent increase to fund mass transit. But that meant getting the word out through church fish fries, neighborhood meetings and on front porches.

"Modern campaigns being what they are, I wanted to run more of an old-fashioned campaign," Nations said a day after Tuesday's surprisingly one-sided victory of Proposition A.

But not too old-fashioned. In the latest example of the reach of social networking, younger voters were galvanized through Facebook groups, Twitter feeds and the blogosphere.

The half-cent sales tax in St. Louis County authorized by Proposition A is expected to generate $75 million a year to fully restore bus, Call-A-Ride and MetroLink service that was slashed a year ago.

Once the election results are certified, the state director of revenue will determine when the tax can be collected, said Mac Scott, a spokesman for St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley.

Passage of the measure is expected to trigger collection of a quarter-cent sales tax in the city of St. Louis.

The tax was passed by St. Louis voters in 1997, but it was dependent on an increase in the county sales tax. The tax is expected to take effect later this year.

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