October 5, 2006

Newspaper Readers Can View Full Text of Ballot Proposals

This issue of the Memphis Democrat contains the full text of the issues that will appear on the November 7 ballot in Missouri. The Missouri Constitution requires the full text to be published in Missouri newspapers when attempts are made to amend the Constitution. The ballot issues can be found on Pages 16-18.

Four issues on the ballot would amend the state Constitution if passed; one issue - Proposition B, would change a state statute. All of the issues will need simple majorities to pass.

If you have not previously registered to vote where you live now, you have through October 11 to register with your county clerk or local election authority. Registration for all elections closes at 5 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday before the election.

In September a circuit judge in Cole County ruled that Missouri’s new photo ID requirement to vote is unconstitutional. The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments on this issue on October 4 and is expected to rule quickly. As the situation stands at this time, a photo ID will not be required on November 7.

The ballot you receive at your polling place on election day will not include the full text of the proposals. Public notices in newspapers are the traditional method of informing you about proposals that affect your rights. Publication of the full text gives you an easy way to learn exactly what you will be voting on, and it provides accountability for public officials.

“It’s important that voters have an opportunity to become informed before election day,” said Stacie Temple, communications director for the Secretary of State’s Office. “Publishing the ballot language is required under the law, but we also hope that by providing this information, we will encourage voters to participate on election day.”

Public notices in newspapers that meet statutory requirements contained in Chapter 493.050 RSMo. are the traditional method of informing you about proposals that affect your rights.

In counties with only one newspaper, the text of the proposals will appear in four issues. Newspapers in counties with more than one newspaper will run the proposals in two issues.

The issues voters will decide on Nov. 7 are:

Amendment 2: This is the stem cell proposal to insure that any therapies and cures permitted under federal law may be provided in Missouri and to ban human cloning. A citizen initiative petition got this measure on the ballot.

Amendment 3 would raise the tax on tobacco products. This proposal will appear as a result of an initiative petition. (The Missouri Supreme Court will decide if enough valid signatures were collected to place this proposal on the ballot.)

Amendment 6 would revise language to include veterans’ organizations in groups that are exempt from taxation. This issue reached the ballot by Senate joint resolution.

Amendment 7 would revise language to disqualify from receiving a state pension any public official who is convicted of a felony that occurred while in office or who is removed from office for misconduct or by impeachment. This issue reached the ballot by House joint resolution.

Proposition B would raise the minimum wage. This issue also reached the ballot by initiative petition of citizens.

The Memphis Democrat plans to offer additional materials regarding these issues in the weeks leading up to the November 7th election.

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