Missouri ballot measures would need to be finalized earlier if legislation passed by the Senate on Thursday is signed into law, an effort to save money on reprinting ballots that last year cost the state close to $680,000. The bill, approved 26-8, would set a deadline to change ballot measures about two months before an election, which is two weeks sooner than the generally accepted standard. Current law allows measures to be finalized at any point within 180 days of an election, although absentee and military ballots must go out about six weeks early. The legislation follows hundreds of thousands of dollars in reprinting expenses after a mid-September court ruling that required last-minute changes to the wording of a proposed constitutional amendment to create a limited early, no-excuses-needed voting period.
An appeals court panel said the summary drafted by Republican legislators was misleading, because it failed to note that the proposed six-day early voting period would occur only if state funding is provided.
The appeals judges ordered the funding contingency to be included in the ballot summary. Voters did not approve the measure.
Several counties at the time of the ruling had already started the process of printing absentee and military ballots. Reprinting those ballots cost the state $679,000, according to a revised estimate from the secretary of state.
Full Article: Senate passes cutoff for changes to ballot measures.