Resistbot Petition: Preserve Missouri's Democracy and Initiative Petition System (Mo. only)

An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (Mo. only)

Preserve Missouri's Democracy and Initiative Petition System

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I urge you to preserve Missouri's initiative petition process. When legislators pay more attention to special interests than to their constituents, we look to the initiative petition, the most direct form of voter participation in our democracy. Missouri’s initiative petition system has been in place for over 115 years. It allows citizens to add their signature to a petition and put an issue on the ballot for a statewide vote. This critical tool, used through the years by citizens from all political persuasions, is now under attack by lawmakers who want to curtail the people’s power. This valuable and trusted process is not easy, and the citizens of Missouri have not abused it. The Missouri Legislature is currently proposing at least 24 different bills that would make it more difficult to get an issue on the ballot and/or increase the number of votes needed to pass once on the ballot. These bills (and the legislator who proposed them) are: HB1749 (Haffner), HJR102(Lewis), HJR67 (Billington), HJR72 (Lewis), HJR76 (Hudson), HJR81 (Kelley), HJR86 (Black), HJR91 (Schnelting), HJR93 (Falkner), HJR94 (Richey), HJR99 (Schwadron), SB1003 (Koenig), SB1076 (Koenig), SB1270 (Schroer), SJR48 (Hoskins), SJR49 (Koenig), SJR51 (Eigel), SJR56 (Cierpiot), SJR59 (Brattin), SJR61 (Moon), SJR73 (Schroer), SJR74 (Coleman), SJR77 (Carter), SJR79 (Brown), SJR81 (Carter), and SJR83 (Eigel) thus far. Missouri’s current requirement for passage of an initiative petition is a simple majority of votes cast. Proposed changes would raise that requirement to 60% or even 67%. Others require a majority of votes cast in a majority of Missouri's representative districts. It is absurd and unprecedented to require more than a simple majority of votes cast to approve an issue in Missouri. It is already difficult to meet the current requirement of gathering enough signatures from 8% of voters in six of Missouri’s eight Congressional districts to qualify for the statewide ballot. Several proposed bills would increase that to 10% in all districts, requiring hundreds of thousands more signatures and making it almost impossible to get an issue on the ballot. This is unacceptable. Our officials are elected by simple majority vote and can legislate by simple majority vote. It’s hypocritical for them to legislate that we, their constituents, must then require 60-67% of the vote to pass ballot measures to counter their unpopular legislation. How is it that today’s majority vote can restrict the Missouri voters of tomorrow and reverse over 115 years of precedent? Our democracy depends on the power of people to be directly involved in their government. The initiative petition process is a sacred and trusted right of the citizens of Missouri. I urge you to oppose any bill that restricts the initiative petition process in any way.

▶ Created on January 20 by MO Residents

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