A Cole County Circuit Judge could rule as early as today on a legal challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision to reject the tobacco tax initiative on the grounds there was an insufficient number of signatures from the 5th Congressional District in Jackson County. Supporters of the initiative were 274 signatures short. Attorney Chuck Hatfield, representing the plaintiffs, says his side has presented more a thousand valid signatures he claims were incorrectly rejected. He wants them included in the total. Attorney Marc Ellinger, representing the opponents, says many signatures have already been proven to be false, so the others are in question, too. Court proceedings are scheduled to resume at 1:30 with what should be the final arguments.
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