SB 1270
Modifies procedures for getting initiative and referendum petitions on the ballot
LR Number:
Last Action:
1/25/2024 - Second Read and Referred S Local Government and Elections Committee
Journal Page:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2024

Current Bill Summary

SB 1270 - This act modifies provisions relating to the procedure for getting initiative and referendum petitions on the ballot.


The act requires all signature sheets for initiative and referendum petitions to be on a form that is prescribed by the Secretary of State (SOS). The form is required to be made available in electronic format. Furthermore, all signatures gathered must be in dark ink.

The text of each proposed measure as it appears on each sample sheet must be in a font not smaller than 12-point Times New Roman, with a top, bottom, left, and right margin not less than one inch.

The full and correct text of all initiative and referendum petition measures must conform to constitutional requirements and may not purport to do any of the following:

· Declare any federal statute, regulation, executive order, or court decision to be void or in violation of the United States Constitution;

· Amend any federal law or the United States Constitution; or

· Accomplish an act that the United States Constitution requires to be accomplished by the General Assembly.


The act modifies the requirements to be a circulator of initiative or referendum petitions. Specifically, circulators must be:

· A citizen of the United States;

· 18 years of age or older;

· A resident of this state, or in the alternative, physically present in this state for at least 30 consecutive days prior to collecting signatures; and

· Registered to circulate signature pages with the SOS.

Circulators are not permitted to be paid anything of value that is based on the number of signatures collected.


Under current law, any citizen may file an action in circuit court challenging a ballot title or a certificate of sufficiency placing a measure on the ballot. This act only permits Missouri registered voters to bring such actions. Furthermore, any party to such an action is permitted to appeal within 10 days after the entry of the judgment of the circuit court.

Under current law, any action challenging a ballot title that is not fully and finally adjudicated within 180 days of filing, and more than 56 days prior to the election in which the measure is to appear, including all appeals, shall be extinguished, unless a court extends such period upon a finding of good cause for such extension. This act requires extensions to be made upon an express finding of good cause, provided that no extension shall cause the final adjudication to occur less than 56 days prior to the election. Furthermore, no court shall have the authority to issue any form of relief after time for adjudication has expired under this act.

FILING AND APPROVAL OF SAMPLE SHEETS (Sections 116.332 and 116.334)

The act provides that sample sheets for initiative or referendum petitions may be filed at any time between the end of one general election and 6 months prior to the next general election.

Under current law, prior to the collection of signatures, the SOS and Attorney General (AG) are required to review each petition for sufficiency as to form and approve or reject such petition on that basis. This act requires the SOS and AG to review each petition for compliance with constitutional requirements and approve or reject the petition, stating the reasons for rejection, if any.

The act provides that in the event of a court-ordered change to the official ballot title, all signatures gathered prior to the change shall be invalidated.


Current law requires the Joint Committee on Legislative Research to hold a public hearing in Jefferson City to take public comments concerning any proposed ballot measure within 30 days of the measure being certified for the ballot. This act repeals such requirement. This provision is identical to SB 113 (2023).

This act has a delayed effective date of November 6, 2024, for certain sections.

This act is identical to SB 490 (2023), substantially similar to HB 1749 (2024) and HB 703 (2023), and similar to SB 862 (2022), SB 149 (2021), SB 522 (2020), SCS/SB 5 (2019), HB 290 (2109),SS/SCS/SB 893 (2018), and HCS/HB 1289 (2018).



No Amendments Found.