Now that the legislature has approved sending a same-sex marriage ban to a vote of the people, it’s up to Governor Holden to decide when it will come to a vote. He won’t have a long time to make up his mind. The legislature approved sending the constitutional amendment to the ballot. It would place state law defining marriage as between one man and one woman into the Missouri constitution. The amendment will appear on the November ballot, unless Holden moves it to the August ballot. Secretary of State spokesman Spence Jackson says if the governor wants the measure to be on the August ballot, several things need to get done by a May 25th deadline. The State Auditor must draft a fiscal note, the State Attorney General must approve the language for the ballot measure and the Secretary of State must notify all 116 local election authorities. All of the work must be completed by next Tuesday to place the issue on the August ballot. Some political watchers believe that placing the issue on the November ballot would help Secretary of State Matt Blunt’s campaign for governor, because it would draw more conservative Republicans to the polls. The same observers believe a November vote could help President Bush in Missouri. Jackson says there won’t be any footdragging to keep the measure off the August ballot. He says if the work is done, it will be decided then. Governor Holden will only say he’s looking at the issue this week.
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