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MOVPC's Legislative Tracker Can Help You Take Action!

Missouri Voter Protection Advocates:

Thanks to all of you who appeared to testify and who submitted testimony last week opposing measures to gut Missouri's long-standing citizen initiative process. Nearly 300 individuals and organizations submitted written testimony in opposition, many people appeared to present in-person testimony. Last week's bills are moving forward - and more are slated for public hearing this week. Can you testify or submit testimony online? Make your voice heard!

INITIATIVE PETITION BILLS MOVE FORWARD Two bills heard by the House Elections Committee last week have now passed out of committee and are slated to be heard by the House Rules & Administrative Oversight Committee Monday, Jan. 30, 2023 at 12:30pm in House Hearing Room 1.

  • HJR43 - would increase the number of signatures required to place a measure on the ballot and increase the threshold for passage from a simple majority to 2/3 - a nearly impossible threshold.

  • HJR 30 - would require proposed constitutional amendments to receive not just a majority of votes cast statewide (the rule now) but also prevail in a majority of state legislative districts.

#MOLEG ELECTIONS HEARINGS - TUES. JAN. 31 WHAT: #MOLEG Public Hearing on HB 703, HB 780, HB 781, HJR 19 WHEN: Tues. Jan. 31, 2023, 12pm WHERE: Missouri House Elections Committee Missouri State Capitol, House Hearing Room 6 SUBMIT TESTIMONY ONLINE HERE * submit online testimony at least one hour prior to the hearing * be sure to click the confirmation email you receive to ensure your statement is submitted. ABOUT THE BILLS

HB 703 - Rep. Mike Haffner - Initiative Petitions What it Does:

  • requires petition circulators to be US Citizens;

  • imposes a 30-day residency requirement on petition circulators; circulators must have been in Missouri for at least 30 days;

  • prohibits circulators from being compensated based on number of signatures obtained;

  • prevents legal challenges to ballot title to extend sooner than 8 weeks before election day;

  • if a ballot title challenge substantially alters the language of the ballot title, all signatures collected before the ruling are voided;

  • repeals requirement that Legislative Reserach hold a public hearing;

  • requires referendum sample sheets to be submitted to SOS 6 months before election day;

  • no citizen initative can alter federal law; sets page and font requirements for signature sheets

MOVPC Position: Oppose Points:

  • excludes non-voters from participating in participating in important issues facing their communities through the initiative process, infringing on their free expression and association.

  • a federal court recently found a 30-day residency requirement for petition circulators in North Dakota violated the first amendment free speech and expression and infringed on the rights of petition circulators to engage in political speech.

Submit Testimony on HB 703 HB 780 - Rep. Peggy McGaugh - Initiative Petitions What it Does:

  • requires individuals circulating initiative and referendum petitions to be registered voters of the State of Missouri.

MOVPC Position: Oppose Points:

  • excludes non voters - such as out of state college students, those on probation or parole, or new Americans who cannot yet vote - from otherwise participating in important issues facing their communities through the initiative process, infringing on their free expression and association.

  • a Missouri court has already found that requiring voter registration solicitors to be Missouri registered voters likely violates the state constitution.

Submit Testimony on HB 780 HJR 19 - Rep. John Black - Initiative Petitions What it Does:

  • increases the threshhold for passage of both constiutitonal and statutory amendments to require not only a majority of votes cast, but ALSO to receive a majority of votes in each Senate district.Currently, measures require only a majority of total votes cast. Requires voter approval.

MOVPC Position: Oppose Points:

  • Measures passed by a majority of votes - as is currently the case - reflect the will of the people.

  • Making it more difficult undermines the will of the people.

  • Lawmakers should reject efforts to make direct democracy more difficult

Submit Testimony on HJR 19 HB781 - Rep. Peggy McGaugh - voter registration, intimidation What it Does:

  • repeals requirement that voters register a political party affiliation when registering to vote, or be marked unaffiliated.

  • government entity does not have to register with the SOS to solicit voter registration.

  • adds dissemination of personal information of an election official or his or her family with the intent to harass, intimidate, or influence the performance of their duties as a class one election offense.

MOVPC Position: Support Points:

  • clarifies that government entities are not subject to the solicitation registration requirement of HB1878, a requirement that is currently blocked by a court.

  • voters should not be required to register by political party; political party requirement takes us one step closer to closed primary elections and further exclusions of valid voters from political participation.

  • protects local election authorties from harassment and intimidation; recent studies have shown that 1 in 6 election officials have received threats for doing their jobs.

We've got work to do to protect our Freedom to Vote! So please join our next MOVPC Meeting Mon. Jan. 30, 2023 at 10am where we will discuss next steps in our fight to protect the right to vote in Missouri. Thanks for all you do to protect the right to vote in Missouri. Denise Lieberman Missouri Voter Protection Coalition (314) 780-1833


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