V is for Vote! (Missouri residents, please vote NO on Amendment 2 this Tuesday!)

August 4th, 2012 2:28 pm by Kelly Garbato

Fellow Missourians! The state primaries are coming up this Tuesday, August 7th. If you’re not already registered to vote, it’s obviously too late for this round – but if you can, please register to vote in the general elections on November 6th. The last day to register is October 10, 2012, according to the MO Secretary of State’s 2012 election calendar. You can find registration instructions here.

In this, the latter half of 2012, you’d think that sample ballots would be readily available and easy to find on the SOS’s website as well. Along with election dates, registration documents, and the like, there should be a link to each district’s ballots right there on the main page, making it easy peasy for voters to research their choices beforehand. Or, hell, know what their choices even are.

Or not. At least not here in the “Show Me” state. Upon visiting the “Elections” section of SOS’s website, voters can find all sorts of info under the “for voters” menu – voter ID info, absentee voting requirements, how to check your voter registration, even language for past and present initiative petitions and ballot questions. But no sample ballots.

Under the FAQ, there is an entry regarding sample ballots: “Where can I see a sample ballot?”

The answer:

You may be able to view your sample ballot at our Voter Information Lookup.

Sample ballots can also be viewed at the polling place or at the office of your local election authority. Sample ballots are also required to be printed twice prior to each election in newspapers of general circulation. Some election jurisdictions may also mail sample ballots to all registered voters in that jurisdiction.

I dutifully checked my registration as directed, and…nothing. Nada. No link or further instructions or even so much as a note that a sample ballot for my district is not available through the Vote Missouri website – but hey, here’s where you can find it.

It took me a half hour of digging before I was finally able to find a sample ballot for my district – and even then, it wasn’t published on a government website, but in the archives of our local, rinky-dink county newspaper. Had The Clinton County Leader not archived old issues online, I would have been forced to trek on over to the county courthouse to pick up a paper ballot. Which isn’t really a big deal, since it’s just down the street, and I have a car to drive there – and failing that, a healthy, able body to get me there. But not everyone does. Some potential voters may be confined to their homes, either temporarily or long-term, while others may be lacking in transportation. Still others may have internet access, minus the knowledge to research and locate a ballot on a third-party website. Or operate Adobe Reader.

My point is, there’s no good reason why sample ballots for every district shouldn’t be available in multiple places – in the newspaper, in government buildings, via sail mail for those who request it, and yes, in one central place online, preferably listed alongside other election materials. The internet: it’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s effective. It’s also 2012. Get with the program, Robin Carnahan.

Anyway, here’s the sample ballot for Clinton County, Missouri (click through to embiggen), followed by a plain-text version. In years past I’ve published my picks as well, but seeing as I still haven’t made up my mind (so many candidates, so little information!) I did things a little differently this time around.

Missouri state primaries - 8/7/12 - sample ballot

DEMOCRATIC PARTY

For US Senator
* Claire McCaskill

For Governor
* Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon
* Clay Thunderhawk
* William G. Campbell

For Lieutenant Governor
* Susan Montee
* Dennis Weisenburger
* Fred Kratky
* Becky Lee Plattner
* Judy Baker
* Sara Lampe
* Jackie Townes McGee
* Bill (William) Haas

For Secretary of State
* Jason Kander
* MD Rabbi Alam

For State Treasurer
* Clint Zweifel

For Attorney General
* Chris Koster

For US Representative District 6
* Kyle Yarber
* Ted Rights
* W.A. (Bill) Hedge
* Ronald William Harris

For State Representative District 8
* James T. (Jim) Crenshaw
* Clint Hylton

For Circuit Judge Circuit 43 Division 2
* Brent Elliott
* Bill Burris

For County Commissioner 1st District
* I.D. Smith
* Bill Webb

For County Commission 2nd District
* Larry C. King
* Rick Attebury

For Sheriff
* K. Porter Hensen
* Johnnie J. McKee

For Assessor
* Jerry Howard

For Public Administrator
* Nancy (Stalder) Wingate

REPUBLICAN PARTY

For US Senator
* Todd Akin
* Jerry Beck
* Sarah Steelman
* John G. Brunner
* Mark Memoly
* Mark Patrick Lodes
* Robert (Bob) Poole
* Hector Maldonado

For Governor
* John D. Weiler
* David (Dave) Spence
* Bill Randles
* Fred Sauer

For Lieutenant Governor
* Charles W. Kullmann
* Brad Lager
* Peter Kinder
* Mike Carter

For Secretary of State
* Scott Rupp
* Shane Schoeller
* Bill Stouffer

For State Treasurer
* Cole McNary

For Attorney General
* Ed Martin
* Adam Lee Warren

For US Representative District 6
* Bob Gough
* Sam Graves
* Christopher Ryan

For State Representative District 8
* James W. (Jim) Neely

For Circuit Judge Circuit 43 Division 1
* Tom Chapman

For County Commissioner 1st District
* Charles Dawson

For Sheriff
* Larry Fish
* Timothy G. Gee

For Assessor
* Linda J. Cassity

For Coroner
* Kathleen (Vanhorn) Little

CONSTITUTION PARTY

For Lieutenant Governor
* Cynthia L. Davis

For Secretary of State
* Justin Harter

LIBERTARIAN PARTY

For US Senator
* Jonathan Dine

For Governor
* Jim Higgins

For Lieutenant Governor
* Matthew Copple

For Secretary of State
* Cisse W. Spragins

For State Treasurer
* Sean O’ Toole

For Attorney General
* Dave Browning

For US Representative District 6
* Russ Lee Monchil

NON-PARTISAN

Constitutional Amendment 2

[Proposed by the 96th General Assembly (First Regular Session) HJR 2]

Official Ballot Title:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure:

That the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs shall not be infringed;
That school children have the right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in their schools; and
That all public schools shall display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.

It is estimated this proposal will result in little or no costs or savings for state and local governmental entities.

Missouri state has open primaries, meaning that voters need not register with a party to vote in their primaries. (I don’t believe there’s party registration of any type.) However, you can only vote on one ticket: in this case, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Constitution Party. Since all of the candidates in the latter two parties are running unopposed, it’s my opinion that voting those tickets is a waste of time: the candidates have already been chosen. (Shane disagrees on the premise that voting third-party in the primaries shows your support of alternative parties and/or your distaste for the Democrats and Republicans. IMHO, that’s what the general election is for. Be your own decider person!) Unless there’s an especially progressive (read: progressive for Missouri) Democrat that I’d like to support in the primaries, I usually vote on the Republican ballot – i.e., for the least awful candidates.

For those who’d rather skip the primaries altogether, you can opt for a non-partisan, ballot measure only ticket.

This time around, the Republican choices are all so odious that I decided to vote in the Democratic primaries. Though I didn’t have the time to put together the sort of voting guide I have in years past, below you can find links to additional information on some of the candidates. As you can see, I skipped those candidates who are running unopposed. Nor have they all bothered to wage much of a campaign, and consequently not all of candidates have an online presence. (Seriously, how hard is it to set up a website? Tumblr, hello.) So the information is spotty at best. I’ve included links to Wikipedia primarily because Wikipedia links to other resources. FYI!

Let’s start with Constitutional Amendment 2, the full text and fair ballot language of which you can read here. I’m voting NO, for reasons best explained in this email from the Secular Coalition for America:

Tuesday, Missourians will go to the polls to cast ballots for several amendments and primary races. No matter who you are voting for, it’s imperative you get to the polls to vote down one initiative: Amendment 2, the so-called “Public Prayer Amendment.”

The Public Prayer Amendment attempts to mislead voters by claiming to protect religious freedom in public schools. In reality, if passed, the vague wording of the amendment has the ability to institute a slew of religious privileges that could include everything from school-sponsored prayer to exemptions from school assignments for religious students.

Proponents of the amendment claim it’s necessary to protect religious freedom. But religious discussion and prayer are already protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and by Article 1 section 5 of the Missouri state Constitution.

This amendment goes a step further, claiming citizens to have an “indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences” and that “no human authority can control or interfere with the rights of conscience.” While the First Amendment to the Constitution protects the free exercise of religion, it does not exempt Americans from following the laws of our nation. However, the wording of this amendment could allow precisely that.

If passed, Amendment 2 could:

* Create an opening for sectarian prayer at school board meetings and other unconstitutional settings. Current law allows legislative sessions to open with prayer under narrow circumstances, but Amendment 2 ignores all discretion and would allow a commingling of religion and government.

* Directly violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by allowing government employees to openly pray while performing their duties. A government employee’s actions are an extension of the state, and the First Amendment prohibits an establishment of religion by the government.

* Create a series of privileges and educational loopholes for students who claim their homework assignments and/or classes conflict with their religious beliefs.

Furthermore, due to the vague wording of the amendment and inconsistencies with federal law, if this amendment is approved the taxpayers of Missouri will bear the cost of millions of dollars in litigation.

Amendment 2 will make unnecessary changes to the Missouri state Constitution and cause harm to Missouri’s public education system by expanding the role of religion in the public sphere and jeopardizing established First Amendment protections.

The Secular Coalition for America urges you to vote “no” on Amendment 2.

The Kansas City Star also recommends a NO on Amendment 2, on the grounds that it’s redundant at best.

If nothing else, please get out to the polls on August 7 and vote NO on Constitutional Amendment 2.

###

DEMOCRATIC PARTY

For US Senator

* Claire McCaskill

For Governor

* Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon
– Incumbent; MO Governor website: http://governor.mo.gov/
– Campaign website: http://jaynixon.com/
– Posts tagged “Jay Nixon” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/jay-nixon
– Jay Nixon on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Nixon

* Clay Thunderhawk

* William G. Campbell

For Lieutenant Governor

* Susan Montee
– Campaign website: http://susanmontee.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/susanmonteeforauditor
– Posts tagged “Susan Montee” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/susan-montee
– Susan Montee on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Montee

* Dennis Weisenburger

* Fred Kratky
– Campaign website: http://www.fredkratky.com/

* Becky Lee Plattner
– Campaign website: http://www.beckyplattner.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Becky-Plattner/191357140900964

* Judy Baker
– Campaign website: http://judybakerformissouri.com/
– Judy Baker on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Baker

* Sara Lampe
– Campaign website: http://www.saralampe.com/
– Posts tagged “Sara Lampe” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/sara-lampe

* Jackie Townes McGee
– Campaign website: http://www.jackie2012.com/

* Bill (William) Haas
– Campaign website: http://www.votebillhaas.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bill-Haas-for-Lieutenant-Governor/397228363650653
– Haas includes “factory farming” among his key issues: “Protecting The Environment, Land, Water and Food, and particularly by Ending Animal Abuse on Factory Farmsby prohibiting the exemption of farm animals from animal cruelty statutes. Who wouldn’t be in favor of that?!”

For Secretary of State

* Jason Kander
– Campaign website: http://www.jasonkander.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kanderformissouri
– Endorsed by PROMO Pac
– Posts tagged “Jason Kander” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/jason-kander
– Jason Kander on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Kander

* MD Rabbi Alam
– Campaign website: http://www.md4mo.org/

For State Treasurer

* Clint Zweifel
– Campaign website: http://www.clintformissouri.com/
– Incumbent; MO State Treasurer website: http://www.treasurer.mo.gov/
– Endorsed by PROMO Pac
– Posts tagged “Clint Zweifel” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/clint-zweifel
– Clint Zweifel on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clint_Zweifel

For Attorney General

Chris Koster
– Campaign website: http://www.chriskoster.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/missouriansforkoster
– Endorsed by PROMO Pac
– Posts tagged “Chris Koster” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/chris-koster
– Chris Koster on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Koster

For US Representative District 6

* Kyle Yarber
– Campaign website: http://www.kyleyarber.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kyle-Yarber-for-our-Representative/177669402307737

* Ted Rights
– Campaign website: http://www.tedrightsforcongress.com/

* W.A. (Bill) Hedge
– Campaign website: https://elect-hedge-to-congress.com/
– Bill Hedge on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Hedge
– Lists Women’s Rights – including his support of Planned Parenthood and VAWA – among his positions.

* Ronald William Harris
– Campaign website: http://ronaldwharris.com/
– Ronald William Harris on Ballotpedia: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Ronald_William_Harris

For State Representative District 8

* James T. (Jim) Crenshaw
– Campaign website: http://www.jimcrenshaw.com/

* Clint Hylton
– Campaign website: http://www.clinthylton.com/
– Hylton’s campaign website doesn’t appear to have been updated since he last ran against Sam Graves in 2010. Weird.

For Circuit Judge Circuit 43 Division 2

* Brent Elliott
– Campaign website: http://www.judgebrentelliott.com/
– Incumbent; Circuit Judge website: http://www.livingstoncountymo.com/circuitjudge.htm
Meet the Candidates: Circuit Judge, Division 2 — Brent Elliott @ Chillicothe News

* Bill Burris
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElectBillBurris43rdCircuitJudge
Meet the Candidates: Circuit Judge, Division 2 — Bill Burris @ Chillicothe News

For County Commissioner 1st District

* I.D. Smith

* Bill Webb

For County Commission 2nd District

* Larry C. King

* Rick Attebury
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vote-Rick-Attebury-Democratic-Clinton-County-Commissioner/332557106830376

For Sheriff

* K. Porter Hensen
– Incumbent; Clinton County Sheriff’s website: http://sheriff.clintoncomo.org/hensenbio.html

* Johnnie J. McKee

For Assessor

* Jerry Howard

For Public Administrator

* Nancy (Stalder) Wingate

#####

REPUBLICAN PARTY

For US Senator

* Todd Akin
– Campaign website: http://www.akin.org/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/supportakin
– Posts tagged “Todd Akin” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/todd-akin
– Todd Akin on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Akin

* Jerry Beck
– Campaign website: http://www.newvoiceforthetime.com
– Posts tagged “Jerry Beck” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/jerry-beck

* Sarah Steelman
– Campaign website: http://sarahsteelman.com/
– Posts tagged “Sarah Steelman” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/taxonomy/term/234
– Sarah Steelman on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Steelman
– Endorsed by Sarah Palin.

* John G. Brunner
– Campaign website: http://johnbrunner.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrunnerForMO
– Posts tagged “John Brunner” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://firedupmissouri.com/category/tags/john-brunner

* Mark Memoly
– Campaign website: http://www.memoly.org/
– Posts tagged “Mark Memoly” on Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/mark-memoly

* Mark Patrick Lodes
– Campaign website: http://markforsenate.org/ (At the time of this writing, Memoly’s domain registration is expired. Nice!)
– Mark Patrick Lodes @ The Kansas City Star: http://www.kansascity.com/search_results/?q=Mark%20Patrick%20Lodes

* Robert (Bob) Poole
– Campaign website: http://www.poole4ussenate.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RobertBobPooleForUsSenate

* Hector Maldonado
– Campaign website: http://hectorforamerica.com/
– Posts tagged “Hector Maldonado” on Fired Up! Missouri: http://firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/hector-maldonado
– Hector Maldonado on Ballotpedia: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Hector_Maldonado

For Governor

* John D. Weiler
– Southeast Missourian Candidate Questionnaire: http://www.semissourian.com/story/1856792.html

* David (Dave) Spence
– Campaign website: http://www.spenceforgovernor.com/
– Posts tagged “Dave Spence” at Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/tags/dave-spence
– Dave Spence on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Spence

* Bill Randles
– Campaign website: http://www.billrandles.com/
– Posts tagged “Bill Randles” at Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/tags/bill-randles
– Bill Randles on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Randles

* Fred Sauer
– Campaign website: http://www.fredsauerformissouri.com/
– Posts tagged “Fred sauer” at Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/fred-sauer

For Lieutenant Governor

* Charles W. Kullmann
– Candidate questionnaire: Charles W. Kullmann @ Southeast Missourian: http://www.semissourian.com/story/1863963.html

* Brad Lager
– Campaign website: http://bradlager.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lager4Lt.Governor
– Posts tagged “Brad Lager” on Fired Up! Missouri: http://firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/brad-lager
– Brad Lager on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brad_Lager

* Peter Kinder
– Campaign website: http://peterkinder.com/
– Incumbent; MO LT Governor website: http://ltgov.mo.gov/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peterkinder.fanpage
– Posts tagged “Peter Kinder” on Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/peterkinder
– Peter Kinder on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Kinder

* Mike Carter
– Campaign website: http://www.mikecarter.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Vote4Carter

For Secretary of State

* Scott Rupp
– Campaign website: http://www.ruppformissouri.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Scott.T.Rupp
– Posts tagged “Scott Rupp” on Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/scott-rupp
– Endorsed by Missouri Right to Life.

* Shane Schoeller
– Campaign website: http://www.shaneschoeller.org/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shane-Schoeller-for-Secretary-of-State/167098513371154
– Posts tagged “Shane Schoeller” on Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/shane-schoeller
– Shane Schoeller on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shane_Schoeller

* Bill Stouffer
– Campaign website: http://www.billstouffer.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BillStouffer4MO
– Posts tagged “Bill Stouffer” on Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/topics/bill-stouffer
– Bill Stouffer on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Stouffer

For State Treasurer

* Cole McNary

For Attorney General

* Ed Martin
– Campaign website: http://edmartinformissouri.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EdMartinForMissouri
– Posts tagged “Ed Martin” on Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/category/tags/ed-martin
– Ed Martin on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Martin_%28Missouri_politician%29

* Adam Lee Warren
– Campaign website: http://adamleewarren.com/
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/adamleewarren

For US Representative District 6

* Bob Gough
– Campaign website: http://bobgough.com/

* Sam Graves
– Campaign website: http://www.gravesforcongress.com/
– Incumbent; US House website: http://graves.house.gov/
– Posts tagged “Sam Graves” @ Fired Up! Missouri: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/taxonomy/term/224
– Sam Graves on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Graves

* Christopher Ryan
– Christopher Ryan on Ballotpedia: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Christopher_Ryan

For State Representative District 8

* James W. (Jim) Neely

For Circuit Judge Circuit 43 Division 1

* Tom Chapman

For County Commissioner 1st District

* Charles Dawson

For Sheriff

* Larry Fish
– Campaign website: http://www.larryfishforsheriff.com/

* Timothy G. Gee
– Campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TimothyGeeForClintonCountySheriff

For Assessor

* Linda J. Cassity

For Coroner

* Kathleen (Vanhorn) Little

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2 Responses to “V is for Vote! (Missouri residents, please vote NO on Amendment 2 this Tuesday!)”

  1. Laura Says:

    Thank you so much for publishing this sample ballot! It has been VERY HARD to find!

  2. Kelly Garbato Says:

    You’re welcome, I’m happy I could help!

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