Tagmissouri

Stories about Missouri

Marijuana legalization initiative certified for the ballot in Missouri

On Aug. 9, 2022, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) announced that a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Missouri qualified for the November 8 general election ballot.

The citizen-initiated ballot measure, led by the Legal Missouri 2022 campaign, needed 171,592 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Legal Missouri 2022 submitted more than 385,000 signatures in May. Secretary Ashcroft certified that a sufficient number of verified signatures were submitted to qualify the initiative for the ballot.

If voters approve of the initiative in November, the measure would amend the Missouri Constitution to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri for adults over the age of 21. It would also allow personal cultivation of marijuana with prescribed limits and regulations, impose a six percent tax on the retail price of marijuana, and allow people with a record of certain marijuana-related non-violent offenses to petition for release from incarceration or parole and probation and to have their records expunged. It would also establish a lottery selection process to award licenses and certificates, and distribute licenses within each congressional district.

While medicinal marijuana is legal for those with a medical ID card in Missouri, recreational marijuana is illegal.

John Payne, the campaign manager of Legal Missouri 2022, said, “We look forward to engaging with voters across the state in the coming weeks and months. Missourians are more than ready to end the senseless and costly prohibition of marijuana.”

Supporters of the initiative include the ACLU of Missouri, the NAACP of St. Louis City, and NORML of Kansas City. “Cannabis reform is about more than establishing a safe and legal market,” said Jamie Kacz, the executive director of NORML KC, “It is about righting the many wrongs prohibition has caused to our communities, especially communities of color.”

Christina Thompson, with ShowMe Canna-Freedom, is critical of the regulations regarding commercial licenses. Thompson said, “This initiative eliminates nearly all competition through constitutionally protected license caps. Recreational licenses created under the initiative will go straight to established businesses as well, meaning instead of opening up more business opportunities for others, money only goes to those who are already profiting.”

The Missouri initiative joins two other marijuana legalization ballot measures that will appear on the ballot in the November general election–a constitutional amendment in Maryland, and an initiated state statute in South Dakota.

There are now five certified measures on the Missouri ballot for November 2022.

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Missouri celebrates 201 years of statehood

201 years ago, Missouri became the 24th state admitted to the Union on Aug. 10, 1821.

According to archeological excavations, humans have inhabited the Missouri area since about 9000 BCE. There were many different civilizations of native peoples including the Missouri, Quapaw, and Osage. The French began to settle in present-day Missouri around 1735.

The United States acquired the land that makes up present-day Missouri from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The Missouri Territory originally included parts of what are now Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. 

The Missouri Territory first applied in 1817, but was unable to obtain statehood due to the debate in Congress over slavery. In 1820, Maine applied for statehood with the intention of outlawing slavery. Congress passed the Missouri Compromise in March 1820 that would allow both Maine and Missouri to gain statehood. The Missouri constitution was ratified on July 19, 1820, and Missouri was granted statehood a year later in August 1821. President James Monroe signed the federal legislation. 

The first known census for inhabitants of what would later become Missouri was taken by France in 1752. The census included 23 individuals. In 2021, Missouri’s bicentennial, the state had over six million residents, making it the 19th most populous state. Missouri is the 21st largest state geographically and is bordered by the most states along with Tennessee (eight). 



Voters in St. Louis, Missouri, approve two ballot measures on Aug. 2

On August 2, voters in St. Louis, Missouri, approved two ballot measures—Proposition F and Proposition S.

St. Louis Proposition F amended the city’s charter to increase the maximum fine for violations of ordinances regarding environmental conditions, such as dumping waste and debris and prohibited refuse, from $500 to $1,000. With all precincts reporting, the vote was 85.03% to 14.97%. A 60% supermajority vote was required to approve Proposition F. In March, the St. Louis City Council voted 27-0 to place the measure on the ballot.

St. Louis Public Schools Proposition S authorized the Board of Education to issue $160 million in general obligation bonds for school renovations, repairs, and upgrades. With all precincts reporting, the vote was 86.87% to 13.13%. A four-sevenths (57.14%) vote was needed to approve the ballot measure. 

Superintendent Kelvin Adams said the bond revenue would cover about half of the district’s needed fixes. “We’re only going to touch the surface of this,” said Adams, “We know for a fact that there are more needs than the dollars will support, but this gets us moving in the right direction.” Voters last approved a bond for St. Louis Public Schools in 2010.

Since 2018, voters in St. Louis, and jurisdictions that include St. Louis, have decided on 18 local ballot measures, approving 15 (83%) and rejecting three (17%). Before August 2, the last citywide election in St. Louis was on April 5, 2022, when voters approved two ballot measures – an initiative addressing redistricting and conflict of interest policies and a capital improvements bond measure.   

St. Louis also held citywide primaries on August 2, including for the offices of the collector of revenue, license collector, and recorder of deeds.



Eric Schmitt wins Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Missouri

Eric Schmitt won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Missouri on August 2. According to the Missouri secretary of state’s office, Schmitt received 46% of the vote. Vicky Hartzler was second with 22% and Eric Greitens was third with 19%.

Twenty-one candidates ran in the primary. Greitens, Hartzler, and Schmitt led in media attention, endorsements, polling, and fundraising. Incumbent Roy Blunt (R), who was first elected in 2010, announced on March 8, 2021, that he would not seek election to a third term in 2022.

Schmitt has served as attorney general of Missouri since 2019. Schmitt previously served as treasurer of Missouri and was a member of the Missouri State Senate representing District 15. Schmitt said he “defended President Trump at every turn and fought for justice for Missourians against the radical left, Big Tech, and even the Communist Party of China,” and that “with Joe Biden in the White House and a liberal takeover in the House and Senate, we need a proven Conservative to take the fight to the Senate and save our values, our culture, and our country.”

Greitens was the governor of Missouri from 2017 until June 1, 2018, when he resigned following investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of campaign information. Greitens also served as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer and founded The Mission Continues, a nonprofit group that connects veterans with volunteer work to help them in their post-military transitions. “We need fighters who are willing to do what it takes to take our country back, to take our country back from the left. And also we need fighters who are willing to take on the establishment — take on the mainstream media,” Greitens said.

Hartzler has represented Missouri’s 4th Congressional District since 2011. Hartzler also worked as a high school teacher and served as spokeswoman for the Coalition to Protect Marriage, an organization that supported an amendment to the Missouri Constitution barring gay marriage, in 2004. Gov. Matt Blunt (R) appointed Hartzler to the Missouri Women’s Council, an agency within the Missouri Department of Economic Development, where she served from 2005 to 2007. According to her campaign website, Hartzler ran for U.S. Senate “to protect our freedoms and preserve America’s greatness with a vision that puts our country first,” adding, “I listen. I care. I fight. I get things done.”

As of August 1, The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections both rated the general election as Solid Republican, while Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball rated it Likely Republican. In the 2016 general election, Blunt defeated Jason Kander (D) 49%-46%. In the 2020 general election, former President Donald Trump won the state by 15 percentage points.



Voting in Missouri’s Aug. 2 primary election

Missouri’s statewide primary election is scheduled for Aug. 2, 2022. Here is what you need to know about voting in the primary: 

  • Hours: Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Anyone who is in line at the time polls close has the right to cast a ballot.
  • Polling places: Click here to find your polling location. 
  • Voter ID requirements: Voters in Missouri must present identification at the polls. The following forms of identification are acceptable: 
    • “Identification issued by the state of Missouri, an agency of the state, or a local election authority of the state;”
    • “Identification issued by the United States government or agency thereof;”
    • “Identification issued by an institution of higher education, including a university, college, vocational and technical school, located within the state of Missouri; or”
    • “A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter.”
  • Returning an absentee/mail-in ballot: A completed ballot must be received by election officials by Aug. 2. Voters casting their absentee ballots in person must do so by 5:00 p.m. on Aug. 1. 
  • Participation requirements: In Missouri, primary elections are open, meaning that a voter can participate in the partisan primary of his or her choice. 

A primary election is used to narrow the field of candidates for certain positions or to determine the political party nominees before a general election. Missouri has an open primary. Voters are not required to be affiliated with a political party in order to vote in that party’s primary. Voters are also able to declare any party at the polls regardless of previous party affiliation. 

In the Missouri primary, voters throughout the state will select one candidate to serve in the U.S. Senate, eight candidates to serve in the House of Representatives, a state auditor, 17 state senators, and 163 state representatives. Clay County, Jackson County, Platte County, and the city of St. Louis have several municipal positions that will be on the ballot. Using Ballotpedia’s sample ballot lookup tool, voters can find the candidates that will be on their ballot on Aug. 2. 

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Derges resignation only irregular officeholder transition in Missouri for July 2022

In July, there was one irregular officeholder transition in Missouri for offices within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope. We define irregular officeholder transitions as transitions that occur due to resignation, death, appointment, or winning of a special election in positions such as a state executive office, a seat in the General Assembly, or a non-district judgeship.

Missouri House Rep. Tricia Derges left office on July 1 after she was convicted by a federal jury of 22 medical fraud-related charges. Derges represented District 140 and had been serving in the Missouri House of Representatives since 2021. The vacancy has not been filled. 

Eight seats are currently vacant in the Missouri House of Representatives, with the oldest open since April 21, 2021. On that date, former State Rep. Rick Roeber (R)—who represented District 34—was expelled from the House by unanimous vote due to allegations of child abuse. District 65 became vacant after the death of State Rep. Tom Hannegan (R) in Oct. 2021. District 114 has been vacant since Nov. 2021 and was previously held by Becky Ruth (R). In the first week of Jan. 2022, Districts 147, 108, and 61 all became vacant. They were held by Wayne Wallingford (R), Justin Hill (R), and Aaron Griesheimer (R) respectively. District 29 became vacant in April 2022 after Rory Rowland was elected as Mayor of Independence, Missouri. 

Vacancies in the Missouri General Assembly are filled through a special election called by the governor. Missouri is one of 25 states that fill vacancies in the state legislature through special elections. As of April 2022, 45 state legislative special elections have been scheduled nationwide for 2022 in 20 states. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) has not called for any legislative special elections this year. All Missouri House of Representatives districts will be up for regular election on Nov. 8.



Seven Missourian candidates completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey since July 17

Below are a selection of responses from the candidates who filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since July 17. To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

Bryce Lockwood is running for election to the U.S. House to represent Missouri’s 7th Congressional District and the Democratic primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Lockwood responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“Becoming upset with the lack of affordable health care for friends and associates, the lack of expansion of the Medicare Program after voting Missourians overwhelmingly urged their government to do so in two elections, the deterioration of our nation’s transportation networks, highways and bridges, Mr. Lockwood decided to file for the Missouri 7th US Congressional District on the last day of filing, March 29th, 2022.”

Click here to read the rest of Lockwood’s answers. 

Jason Pearson is running for Jackson County Executive and the Republican primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Pearson responded to the question “Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?”

“I already have a pension from Jackson County. There is no reason to go back unless I feel I could make a difference. I have direct experience in the Assessment Department. I’m a perfectionist who is not comfortable unless things are accomplished. No problems would be too big or small to address.”

Click here to read the rest of Pearson’s answers. 

If you’re a Missouri candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but you would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey!

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Four Missourian candidates completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey since July 14

Below are a selection of responses from the candidates who filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since July 14, 2022. To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

Alan Green is running for Missouri State Auditor and the Democratic primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Green responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“I have always been a fiscal watchdog. We must find the necessary funds to retain and attract good quality workers for the State of Missouri. Nationally, Missouri ranks near the bottom in pay for state employees, teachers and so many categories. We can and must do better.”

Click here to read the rest of Green’s answers. 

Ryan Meyer is running for Jackson County Legislature to represent District 2 At-Large and the Democratic primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Meyer responded to the question “Who do you look up to? Whose example would you like to follow, and why?”

“The women in my life have always been the model of strength that I try to live up to. Politically, I look up to Harry Truman. He was principled and honest. He fought tooth and nail for what he believed, and he took no guff from anybody. I would like to live up to that tradition in Jackson County Missouri politics.”

Click here to read the rest of Meyer’s answers. 

If you’re a Missouri candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but you would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey!

Additional reading:

  • Alan Green (D) – Missouri State Auditor
  • Zac Sweets (D) – Jackson County Legislature, District 2 At-Large
  • Ryan Meyer (D) – Jackson County Legislature, District 2 At-Large
  • Samantha Deaton (D) – Missouri House of Representatives, District 134


Voters in St. Louis, Missouri, will decide on two ballot measures on August 2

On August 2, voters in St. Louis, Missouri, will decide on two ballot measures – Proposition F and Proposition S.

St. Louis Proposition F would amend the city’s charter to increase the maximum fine for violations of ordinances regarding environmental conditions, such as dumping waste and debris and prohibited refuse, from $500 to $1,000. On March 11, 2022, the St. Louis City Council voted 27-0 to place Proposition F on the ballot.

St. Louis Public Schools Proposition S would authorize the Board of Education to issue $160 million in general obligation bonds for school renovations, repairs, and upgrades. Superintendent Kelvin Adams said the bond revenue would cover about half of the district’s needed fixes. “We’re only going to touch the surface of this,” said Adams, “We know for a fact that there are more needs than the dollars will support, but this gets us moving in the right direction.” Voters last approved a bond for St. Louis Public Schools in 2010.

Since 2018, voters in St. Louis, and jurisdictions that include St. Louis, have decided on 16 local ballot measures, approving 13 (81%) and rejecting three (19%). During the last citywide election in St. Louis on April 5, 2022, voters approved two ballot measures – an initiative addressing redistricting and conflict of interest policies and a capital improvements bond measure.   

St. Louis is also holding citywide primaries on August 2, including for the offices of the collector of revenue, license collector, and recorder of deeds.



Twenty-one candidates running in U.S. Senate primary in Missouri

Twenty-one candidates are running in the Republican Party primary for U.S. Senate in Missouri on August 2, 2022. Eric Greitens, Vicky Hartzler, and Eric Schmitt have led in media attention, endorsements, and polling.

Incumbent Roy Blunt (R), who was first elected in 2010, announced on March 8, 2021, that he would not seek election to a third term in 2022.

The Missouri Independent‘s Jason Hancock said, “Polls throughout the campaign have shown Greitens, Hartzler and Attorney General Eric Schmitt tightly grouped at the top of the crowded Republican field,” but that an endorsement from former President Donald Trump (R) “is widely considered a potential silver bullet in the race that would automatically launch whoever received it to frontrunner status.” As of July 19, Trump had not endorsed a candidate in the race.

Greitens was the governor of Missouri from 2017 until June 1, 2018, when he resigned following investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of campaign information. Greitens also served as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer and founded The Mission Continues, a nonprofit group that connects veterans with volunteer work to help them in their post-military transitions. “We need fighters who are willing to do what it takes to take our country back, to take our country back from the left. And also we need fighters who are willing to take on the establishment — take on the mainstream media,” Greitens said.

Hartzler has represented Missouri’s 4th Congressional District since 2011. Hartzler worked as a high school teacher, as spokeswoman for the Coalition to Protect Marriage, an organization opposing gay marriage, and as the spokeswoman for the Missouri Women’s Council, an agency within the Missouri Department of Economic Development. According to her campaign website, Hartzler is running for U.S. Senate “to protect our freedoms and preserve America’s greatness with a vision that puts our country first,” adding, “I listen. I care. I fight. I get things done.”

Schmitt has served as attorney general of Missouri since 2019. Schmitt previously served as treasurer of Missouri, was a member of the Missouri State Senate representing District 15, and worked as a private-practice attorney. Schmitt said, “with Joe Biden in the White House and a liberal takeover in the House and Senate, we need a proven Conservative to take the fight to the Senate and save our values, our culture, and our country.”

Both Hartzler and Schmitt have referenced the allegations against Greitens in their campaigns. “Real men never abuse women and children. Period, end of story. It’s time for Eric to get out of the Senate race and to get professional help,” Hartzler said. “This race comes down to me and Eric Greitens, who quit and was a former governor, lots of scandals, would lose the seat to the Democrats. It’s just a mess. And he’s a quitter,” Schmitt said.

Greitens said the accusations were “completely fabricated, baseless allegations.” Greitens’ campaign manager, Dylan Johnson, said, “The only reason these RINOs are willing to fund their lies is because Gov. Greitens is leading the entire field by a mile in recent public polling.”

According to Politico‘s Alex Isenstadt, “Top party officials, in Missouri and nationally, worry that should [Greitens] win the Republican nomination, he would jeopardize the party’s ability to retain the seat in the general election.” Show Me Values PAC, a political committee, that, according to Isenstadt, is funded by “Missouri-based Republican Party donors,” has sponsored ads criticizing Greitens. Johnson said, “These swamp creatures and grifters know their time at the trough is finished. That’s why they’re scared of America First champion Governor Greitens.”

As of July 17, The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections both rated the general election as Solid Republican, while Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball rated it Likely Republican. In the 2016 general election, Blunt defeated Jason Kander (D) 49%-46%. In the 2020 general election, former President Donald Trump won the state by 15 percentage points.