A Cole County Circuit Judge has ruled against a group trying to get an initiative petition on the ballot this November. The group, Missourians in Charge, had argued that Secretary of State Robin Carnahan had no authority to throw out its petitions to further restrict state government growth. Carnahan ruled the petitions didn’t meet state requirements, because four of the 12 boxes of signatures submitted were not numbered as required by law. The group claimed it was a clerical error that should be overlooked.
Judge Richard Callahan has thrown out that argument, saying it was without merit. Callahan has found that the Secretary of State acted properly, disqualifying the petitions for failure to comply with statutory requirements. He says the Secretary of State had no discretion but to declare the entire petition insufficient, ruling the group didn’t comply with state law simply because it ran out of time. Missourians in Charge filed signatures with the Secretary of State’s office about four minutes before the deadline on Sunday, May 7th. It attempted to submit more signatures two days later. Those were returned to the group. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s spokeswoman, Stacie Temple, says the Secretary is pleased with the ruling and that it reinforces the fact that the office was simply following the law.