Republican Missouri secretary of state candidate Shane Schoeller outlined proposals Thursday that would require photo identification to vote and overhaul the process for handling ballot measures and legislative redistricting.

Read the story from The Joplin Globe

A Kansas City Council committee today rejected transit activist Clay Chastain’s latest proposal for a light rail ballot measure.

The council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee recommended against placing Chastain’s light rail plan on the February ballot, saying it is woefully under-funded and is impossible to implement. The full council considers Chastain’s proposal on Sep. 29.

TrippiRecently the ShowMe Progress blog caught up with long-time political strategist and former Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi to talk about the Your Vote Counts Act. For BlueGirl:

It comes down to a simple question. Do we trust the voters to do the right thing in the light of day or does the General Assembly hold all of the marbles?

A Kansas City Council committee rejected a petition drive aimed at blocking expansion of the Honeywell weapons.Organizers submitted more than the 3,572 valid signatures required to put the issue on an upcoming ballot, but the city attorney claims the measure is unconstitutional. Critics said the decision means City Hall is denying the right of the people to have a voice in government, and they may take the issue to court.

[From The Missouri Record]

Established politicians have a vested interest in opposing the right of the people to pass laws through the petition process.  Missouri is no different. As Citizens in Charge wrote in 2010:

An article in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on the broad-based coalition supporting a new initiative – the Your Vote Counts Act – that would make it harder for legislators to overturn an initiative without sending it back to the people for their approval.

Citizens in Charge has endorsed the ballot measure and is working with individuals and groups in the Show Me state, all across the political spectrum, to gather the signatures required to place the measure on the 2012 ballot.

During this year’s legislative session, Missouri lawmakers rewrote a voter-passed law regulating dog breeders. They also tried to meet a demand of business groups to eliminate cost-of-living increases in the voter-approved state minimum wage. And since voters imposed strict campaign finance limits in 1994, lawmakers have twice acted to change those limits, including eliminating them entirely in 2006. The routine rewriting of voter initiatives would end if a new initiative makes the 2012 ballot and wins approval.

Read the story from the Columbia Daily Tribune

Our very own Paul Jacob talked with the Columbia Daily Tribune while he was in Missouri earlier this week about a transpartisan effort to protect the will of the voters in the state:

A ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to allow a photo ID requirement to vote contains deceptive language and should not appear on the ballot, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by a coalition of groups. The measure, which was approved by the Republican-led legislature in May, is slated to appear on the ballot in November 2012. It would allow lawmakers to establish a law requiring anyone wishing to cast a ballot to provide a government-issued photo ID. It would also allow the establishment of a nine day early-voting period for general elections.

Read the story from St. Louis Post-Dispatch

At first they considered calling it the “Voter Protection Act.” Then it was to be called “Will of the People Act.” And now, finally, the “Your Vote Counts Act.” But in every one of the eight filings Your Vote Counts has made in recent weeks with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, the objective has been the same: to make it more difficult for state lawmakers to overturn ballot issues approved by the people.

Read the story from the River Front Times

As the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, told us last week, his organization plans to back a constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot in Missouri called Your Vote Counts. And Pacelle wasn’t kidding around. Campaign finance records show that the Humane Society has already channeled $64,957 in resources toward the Your Vote Counts campaign — making it the effort’s biggest donor to date.

Read the story from the Riverfront Times

Writing for the Missouri Record, Patrick Tuohey says:

According to Washington University professor Gregory Magarian, “Missouri appears to be a national leader in overturning voter initiatives.” The legislature has acted against the publicly stated will of the people on matters dealing with handguns (2003), minimum wage (2006), clean energy (2008) and school funding (2009) in addition to the 2010 puppy mill vote. Sponsors of the measure are right to ask, if the people’s will can so easily be overridden, what point is there to a petition process in the first place?

Last month, Citizens in Charge along with the Humane Society of the United States and numerous other groups endorsed an effort by the Voter Protection Alliance in Missouri to protect the will of the voters from meddling by the state legislature. The constitutional amendment was approved for circulation and the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch agrees, voters need some protection:

Too late to stand in front of bulldozers, an anti-nuke group has presented a petition to try to defuse a bomb component plant going up in south Kansas City. Voters could see a proposed initiative on the ballot in November. The petition does not seek to halt construction at the billion-dollar Honeywell campus at Botts Road and Missouri 150. Instead, it would divert the plant from its intended use to “green energy” manufacturing.

Read the story from the Kansas City Star

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment revising how residents get initiatives placed on statewide ballots. Organizers of initiative petition campaigns now must get signatures from voters in two-thirds of Missouri’s congressional districts.

Read the story from the Columbia Daily Tribune