Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft was pleased with the court’s Friday decision to uphold his ballot certification and the process pertaining to the Marijuana Ballot Initiative.
“Regardless of whether you’re for or against the issue,” Ashcroft said, “my office responded efficiently and appropriately to the thousands of signatures turned in. Foremost, we did the right thing in certifying this measure to the ballot within the bounds of the constitution and the laws passed by the general assembly. We followed the law – we did everything right.”
Secretary Ashcroft’s office was informed of a problem in the signature verification process and was quick to evaluate and take the necessary corrective steps to ensure every signature was counted properly. Over 300,000 signatures were delivered to the secretary of state’s office on May 8th.
Instead of petitioning the courts with wasteful litigation at taxpayer expense – Ashcroft chose to use alternative dispute resolution methods to ensure the legally obtained signatures were evaluated properly as noted in the following excerpts from the judgment:
“The Secretary fulfilled his duties under the statute. The Secretary’s actions in reviewing the work of the LEAs [local election authorities] meant that citizens did not have to bring a suit in this Court to review tens of thousands of signatures just to have a Court reach the same determination made by the Secretary[.] This Court also concludes that the Secretary of State has the obligation to correctly and accurately certify the number of valid signatures for an Initiative.”
Ashcroft believes voting is a right and a responsibility. He asks voters to self-educate on this issue and all ballot measures to make informed decisions at the ballot box.
More information can be found at www.sos.mo.gov.