September 17, 2012

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Election Preview: Some Questions Do Not Make the Ballot
Every election year, we seem to see more initiative petitions land on the ballot, and this November will be no different. You would probably be astounded at the number of petitions that do not make the cut. There have been four ballot questions approved by the secretary of state’s office for the November election. I will be discussing these in future columns. This week, I want to take a look at some of the items that were unsuccessful in getting on the ballot. This year, 48 initiative petitions were approved for circulation. Several of these were related to the same subject. For instance, there were three covering eminent domain, seven relating to early voting, and six petitions regarding tobacco taxes. Folks spend a lot of time standing outside of stores and other public places, asking for signatures that they can turn into the secretary of state’s office, which then has to check all of the signatures to make sure there are no repeated names and all of the names are legitimate.

In most cases, there are either not enough names attained to put the issue on the ballot or too many of the names do not check out. Among the issues that did not make the cut for November are: "Sharia Law Amendment"; Decrease Number of Representatives Amendment; Hunting and Wildlife Amendment; Initiative Petition Requirement Amendment; Minimum Wage Initiative; Payday Loan Initiative; Petition Signature Requirement Amendment; Right to Hunt Amendment; School Voucher Amendment; Term Limits Amendment; Vote by Secret Ballot Amendment; Voter-Approved Laws Amendment; and Voter ID Amendment. As has become the case over the past decade, some of these attempted ballot measures stem from legislative inaction. I have discussed this in previous columns over the years, and I believe there are times when the general public should be able to get something on a ballot and there are times when the best route is a thorough trek through the Legislature. Either way, I have no doubt there will be folks who try again with some, or all, of these petitions and work to get proper signatures again next year. As for the petitions that met all of the criteria, I will go into detail on those in the weeks to come. November is just around the corner. Make sure you vote on Nov. 6, or by absentee ballot before then. The right to vote and the act of casting your ballot is what helps make this the greatest country in the world. All of us can do our part to ensure the right decisions are made to keep Missouri a great place to live, work and raise a


Senator Stouffer serves the counties of Carroll, Chariton, Cooper, Howard, Lafayette, Macon, Ray, Saline, and a part of Clay. If you have questions or comments about this or any other issue, please call toll free (866) 768-3987 or by e-mail at | State Capitol, Room 332, Jefferson City, MO 65101 | (866) 768-3987

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