The group that wants to have Missouri voters decide on an initiative to ban certain forms of stem cell research is considering legal action against Secretary of State Robin Carnahan over the ballot language she has approved for the group’s petition.
Curt Mercadante of Cures Without Cloning says that while his organization wants to ban Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, which it considers a form of human cloning, the language approved by Carnahan makes it appear as though the group is trying to encourage human cloning.
Mercadante says that while the courts have given the Secretary of State some latitude in editing ballot summary language submitted to the office, the latitude has been surpassed in this instance. He says all options, including an effort to impeach the Secretary of State, will be considered.
The Secretary of State’s Office could not disagree more with Cures Without Cloning on its claim that the summary language is confusing to voters. Secretary Robin Carnahan’s Chief of Staff Mindy Mazur says the summary is completely fair and in accordance with state law.
Mazur says it is not uncommon to have challenges to initiative petition ballot titles, pointing out there is a process laid out for the challenge in law. She adds that in 2006 there were court challenges to three different summary statements and in each case the summary statemant was upheld as sufficient and fair.