Missourians could decide record number of ballot issues

Apr 9, 2012

Missouri voters could get a say on several big issues this fall, including measures to replace the state income tax, hike the tobacco tax, raise the minimum wage and restrict payday loans.

Supporters have been gathering petition signatures to qualify each initiative for the November ballot. But with the deadline to turn in those signatures just one month away, all the measures remain tied up in court.

The litigation is a prime example of how Missouri's initiative process has evolved in recent years.

A total of 143 initiatives were submitted to the secretary of state's office for the 2012 elections — up from 16 in 2004. And the secretary of state's office says 50 lawsuits have been filed against this year's initiatives — up from just four lawsuits in 2006.