For immediate release: March 21, 2017
Contact: Maura Browning, (573) 526-0949

Initiative Petition Relating to Ranked-Choice Voting Approved for Circulation

Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft today announced an initiative petition relating to ranked-choice voting which met state standards for circulation.

The official ballot title for initiative petition 2018-149 reads:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to change voting in general elections for the offices of United States Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General State Treasurer, and State Auditor to allow voters to rank candidates in order of preference for each office; eliminate the lowest ranked candidates and redistribute their votes based on number of votes and voters' rankings until a candidate receives at least 50% plus one vote to win; and resolve ties with a random mathematical process?

This proposal could result in necessary voting machine replacements statewide at an estimated unknown cost up to $43.5 million. Some local election authorities estimate ballot and programming costs.

The petition, which would amend Article VIII of the Missouri Constitution, was submitted by Winston Apple, 15517 East 40th Street South, Independence, MO 64055.

Before any constitutional changes can be brought before Missouri voters in the November 2018 election, signatures must be obtained from registered voters equal to eight (8) percent of the total votes cast in the 2016 governor's election from six of the state's eight congressional districts.

Signatures on behalf of all initiative petitions for the 2018 ballot are due to the secretary of state’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 6, 2018.

Before circulating petitions, state law requires that groups must first have the form of their petition approved by the secretary of state and attorney general. The secretary of state then prepares a summary statement of no more than 100 words, and the state auditor prepares a fiscal impact statement, both of which are subject to the approval of the attorney general. When both statements are approved, they become the official ballot title.


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