Secretary of State Jason Kander today announced that his office has made the initiative petition process more transparent and accessible to Missourians, his office says in a press release.

Kander’s office will use the Secretary of State’s website to post initiative petitions submitted to his office. Kander’s plan also includes a five-day comment period for the public, elected officials, and interested stakeholders to provide observations for his office to consider when drafting the summary language for ballot questions.

“It is essential that Missourians’ voices are heard during the initiative petition process, which is why I have opened it up to the public,” Kander said. “My office will always draft fair, easy-to-understand ballot summary language. Making the process more transparent and accessible is part of that effort.”

Before this action, Missourians had no formal public comment period. Unless they submitted a sunshine request, Missourians could not see the petitions submitted to the Secretary of State’s office until after the ballot language was drafted.

Now, the office will post all submitted initiative petitions after the form of the petition is approved. The five-day public comment period will then open for Missourians to offer their observations on the submitted proposal via phone, email or mail. The office has 10 days after the form of the petition is approved to draft the ballot summary language, during which the office will review all comments.

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