Campaign for ranked-choice voting ballot initiative in Missouri has raised millions ahead of signature deadline

The campaign supporting a ranked-choice voting (RCV) ballot initiative in Missouri has received millions in contributions in the weeks ahead of its signature deadline. The initiative would change the state’s primary system to utilize open primaries in which the top four vote recipients, regardless of partisan affiliations, advance to the general election.

The Better Elections PAC is leading the campaign behind the top-four RCV ballot initiative. Better Elections received $4.30 million through March 31. Over 98% of the PAC’s funding came from the organization Article IV, a nonprofit organization based in Virginia. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Article IV is associated with John and Laura Arnold, whose organization Action Now Initiative contributed to RCV-related ballot initiatives in previous years.

The signature deadline is May 8. The number of signatures required is equal to 8% of the votes cast for governor in the previous gubernatorial election in six of the state’s eight congressional districts. The smallest number of valid signatures required is 160,199; however, the actual requirement depends on from which districts enough signatures were collected.

Statewide RCV ballot measures have gone before voters in three states. Should this initiative make the ballot, Missouri would be the fourth state to vote on RCV measures. Maine adopted RCV through Question 5 in 2016 and Alaska adopted RCV through Ballot Measure 2 in 2020. Massachusetts voters rejected RCV through the defeat of Question 2 in 2020.