A Missouri appeals court panel rewrote the ballot summary Monday for an early voting proposal, ruling that the wording approved by lawmakers was misleading because it failed to mention the measure is contingent upon funding. A proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot will ask Missouri voters whether to authorize a no-excuses-needed early voting period for future general elections. The six-day voting period would be limited to business hours on weekdays. In its ruling Monday, a panel of the Western District appeals court said the summary prepared by the General Assembly failed to note the early voting period would occur only if the legislature and the governor provide funding for it.
“We have little doubt that the current summary statement would lead voters to believe that, should the amendment pass, early voting will be permitted in all future general elections in Missouri,” the appeals panel wrote. “That is not the effect of the proposed amendment, however. … The current summary statement is insufficient and unfair for failing to make reference to the funding contingency.”
The appeals court ordered additional wording to be included in the ballot summary.
The rewritten ballot summary will say: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to permit voting in person or by mail for a period of six business days prior to and including the Wednesday before the election day in general elections, but only if the legislature and the governor appropriate and disburse funds to pay for the increased costs of such voting?”