Initiative Integrity In Missouri

Publication date: March 29, 2021

Simplify | Define Eligibility | Require Support

THE BOTTOM LINE: Voters support ensuring that the signatures collected in a petition are verified and cross-checked, and that initiatives on the ballot are clearly defined, including how they plan to be funded.


Confusing Language: Ballot initiative language needs to be simplified so anyone can understand it, and should explain how the new law will be funded if enacted.

Targeting: Petitions should limit the percentage of signatures that may be collected from densely populated areas, and should require a minimum number of signatures from every congressional district, not just two-thirds of them.

Eligibility: The Missouri Constitution should define who is eligible to sign a petition—only U.S. citizens who are legally registered to vote in Missouri.


  • Ballot initiatives contain way too much information, leaving voters confused and not really know what they are voting for.
  • The Medicaid Expansion initiative was confusing, Voters recalled seeing Medicaid Expansion on the ballot, but were not sure what it was about or if it had passed.
  • Voters were unaware that they tried to change the constitution 31 times within the past 10 years, 13 of which were successful.
  • There should be some sort of checks and balances on petitions to ensure geographic representation, such as requiring a certain percentage of the voting population from each county to sign on.
  • Voters support a daily pay for petition collectors, but want to ban the pay-per-signature model.
  • Almost everyone agreed that it should be in the constitution to allow only registered voters who are citizens to sign a petition, and most were more likely to support a candidate who supported that requirement.
  • Voters want more information on the ballot, such as the basis for the initiative, who it benefits, the costs and how it will be funded, the sustainability and long-term funding, and where those funds will be coming from.
  • Most were more likely to support candidates who supported all of the reforms.