Ballot Propositions Sometimes Confuse Voters

7 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Monday, November 01 2010 Nov 1, 2010 Monday, November 01, 2010 5:30:07 PM CDT November 01, 2010 in News

COLUMBIA - Voters will face a number of choices on the statewide ballot for Missouri constitutional amendments and new propositions Tuesday. KOMU 8 News talked to a handful of voters after the August election who said they accidentally voted "Yes" on Proposition C, the health care referendum, thinking that vote supported the Obama health care plan. In fact, a "Yes" vote opposed the plan. One MU political science professor agrees ballot wording can often be confusing for voters.

"They're faced with these sort of, in some cases, complicated, convoluted propositions that are written to be interpreted by lawyers, and they're trying to figure out sort of what these propositions mean and what they're actually voting for and against," Professor Marvin Overby said.

There are three proposed amendments to the Missouri state constitution on the November 2nd ballot:
   
Constitutional Amendment 1 asks voters if St. Louis County should have an elected county assessor instead of appointing the assessor.

  • A "yes" vote would make the office of county assessor an elected position.
  • A "no" vote would keep it an appointed position.
Constitutional Amendment 2 would exempt former prisoners of war with service-related disabilities from paying property taxes.
  • A "yes" vote would exempt former prisoners of war from property taxes.   
  • A "no" vote would not exempt them.
Constitutional Amendment 3 would prevent the assessment of real estate transfer taxes.
  • A "yes" vote would amend the constitution to prevent new taxes on the sale or transfer of real estate.
  • A "no" vote would not prevent the taxes.
To view these amendments on a sample ballot from the Missouri Secretary of State, click here. 

Now for the state-wide propositions:
 
Proposition A would prevent earnings taxes in those parts of the state that do not have them now, and would allow voters in St. Louis and Kansas City to vote to repeal them.
  • A "yes" vote would ban cities in Missouri from enacting new earnings taxes. It would also allow voters to decide whether to keep the earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis.
  • A "no" vote would not change the law.
Proposition B is an attempt to add and change regulations for dog breeders operating in Missouri. It proposes, among other things, to limit the number of breeding dogs for sale to 50, increase dog care requirements, and make violations a misdemeanor.
  • A "yes" vote would amend state law to include these new requirements.
  • A "no" vote would not change the law.
To view these propositions on a sample ballot from the Missouri Secretary of State, click here.

Other local propositions for the city of Columbia:

Proposition 1 asks voters if a sales tax of one-eight of one percent should be continued for five years to fund expansions and improvements to city parks and new park construction.
  • A "yes" vote would continue the sales tax.
  • a "no" vote would allow the sales tax to end.
Proposition 2 asks Columbia voters if police and residents should be allowed to use TASERs.
  • A "yes" vote would make it a Class A misdemeanor for residents or police to use, or even threaten to use a TASER.
  • A "no" vote would not enact the ban.
In Jefferson City, "Question C" is a proposed smoking ban. The smoking ban would prohibit smoking in enclosed places of employment and enclosed public places.
  • A "yes" vote would pass the smoking ban.
  • A "no" vote would not enact the smoking ban.
In Fulton, "Question" is also a proposed smoking ban. The proposal will prohibit smoking in enclosed places of employment, including restaurants and bars.
  • A "yes" vote would pass the smoking ban.
  • A "no" vote would not enact the smoking ban.
A nuisance ordinance is on the ballot in Howard County. The issue would allow the Howard County Sheriff to stop public nuisances.
  • A "yes" vote would pass the nuisance ordinance.
  • A "no" vote would not pass the ordinance.
In Rocheport, "Special Election" asks voters to decide if the city should enter into a new 20-year utility franchise agreement with Boone Electric Cooperative. Boone Electric Cooperative would provide street lights, security lighting and other services.
  • A "yes" vote would allow this franchise agreement
  • A "no" vote would reject the agreement.
Polls open tomorrow at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. To find a polling place, click here.

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