Those people asking for your signature on this or that petition don’t have to follow very many state regulations, for now. That might change.
Proponents of a bill which has received the approval of a House committee say too many outsiders are trying to change Missouri law and too many petition gatherers are in it strictly for the money. Rep. Michael Parson (R-Bolivar) would create several regulations for those gathering signatures to get initiative petitions on the ballot. One of the main provisions of HB 1763 is that all those gathering signatures would have to be Missouri citizens.
Petition circulators also couldn’t be paid per signature, a now-common payment schedule that Parson says leads to corruption. He says a per-signature pay rate provides too much of an incentive to skirt state law, prompting workers to seek any signature, whether of a registered voter or not. Parson’s bill would allow for compensation, but not on a per-signature basis.
Circulators also would be confined to pushing one initiative at a time. The bill would prohibit soliciting signatures for multiple petitions.
No one on the committee voted against the bill. Rep. Beth Low (D-Kansas City) did raise concerns about the penalties included in it. Violations would cause whole petitions to be tossed. Low says that would invalidate the signatures of registered voters who signed the petitions in good faith.