JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Previously rejected initiative petitions are making another showing this week, including a proposal to advise women they have the right to be covered with a shirt when arrested.
The seven newly-filed proposals seeking approval to be circulated cover a wide range of topics. Missourians are proposing amending the voter-approved ethics overhaul known as the Clean Missouri Amendment, adding a fifth Miranda warning, and instituting a ranked voting system.
In total 37 petitions have been submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office. Three have been withdrawn, 13 have been rejected, 4 are closed for comment, and 17 are accepting comments. To date, no proposed initiative petition has been approved for circulation.
Petition 2020-031, filed by Theodis Brown, states, “IF ENTITY HAS SEC OF STATE CHARTER NUMBER AS PUBLIC CORPORATION IF FIRE DISTRICT OR IF VOLUNTEER FIRE PROTECTION ASSN AS PUBLIC NONPROFIT CORP ENTITY UNDER IT STATE CHARTERS TO BE RECONIZED BY LAW.”
Petition 2020-032 would amend the Missouri Constitutional regarding the process of initiative petitions including the signature collection. Filed by Damien Johnson, the measure seeks to allow for initiative petitions to collect signatures electronically in addition to existing requirements. Similar petitions filed by Johnson have rejected or withdrawn.
Shetova Hayes filed Petition 2020-033, which seeks to amend minimum sentencing requirements those convicted of a dangerous felony.
Winston Apple filed two petitions seeking to alter Missouri’s election process. Petition 2020-034 seeks to alter the duties of the non-partisan state demographer and change the number of representatives in the Missouri House. Petition 2020-035 seeks to institute a ranked voting system and reduce the number of House representatives to 10 per congressional district.
“Females only, you have the right to be covered with a shirt,” is the fifth Miranda warning Carlton McRoberts would like detainees to be told. Petition 2020-036 and Petition 2020-037 make the same changes though one former specifies all local police and latter is for “Congressional District 2.”
Before circulating petitions for signatures, state law requires that groups must first have the form of their petition approved by the Secretary of State’s Office. The office then has 23 days after the formation of the petition is approved to draft ballot summary language. Every proposal received by the Secretary of State’s Office is sent to the Auditor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office.
The Attorney General’s Office reviews the petition and forwards its comments to the Secretary of State’s Office within 10 days after receiving the proposed petition. The Auditor’s Office prepares a fiscal note and fiscal note summary and forwards it to the Attorney General’s Office within 20 days after receiving the proposed petition.
Comments will be taken pursuant to Section 116.334, RSMo. This provision allows Missourians to offer their observations on the submitted proposal online, by mail or phone. Missourians can provide their comments online. The Secretary of State’s Office will review all comments submitted. The proposed changes would allow for electronic signatures to be collected.
More about the initiative petition process can be found on Secretary of State’s webpage.
This article is part of a periodic update on the initiative petition process. Other stories in the series can be found here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.