Franklin County voters followed the statewide trends Tuesday, approving three referendums involving ethics reform, medical marijuana and bingo games.
The four proposed amendments made this the third most crowded Missouri ballot in the last 108 years.
There were 11 ballot measures in 1910, eight in 1998 and six in 2016.
Despite the long ballots, voters in Missouri made their voices heard and were able to approve and disapprove issues directly.
This amendment deals with redistricting and gifts to lawmakers. It passed statewide by a 61 to 38 percent margin with 1,459,576 votes in favor of the amendment and 895,012 against.
In Franklin County, the margin of passage was 54 to 45 percent, with 22,953 votes in favor and 18,888 against.
With passage the Missouri Constitution will be amended to:
• Change process and criteria for redrawing state legislative districts during reapportionment;
• Change limits on campaign contributions that candidates for state Legislature can accept from individuals or entities;
• Establish a limit on gifts that state legislators, and their employees, can accept from paid lobbyists;
• Prohibit state legislators, and their employees, from serving as paid lobbyists for a period of time;
• Prohibit political fund-raising by candidates for members of the state Legislature on state property; and
• Require legislative records and proceedings to be open to the public.
State governmental entities estimate annual operating costs may increase by $189,000. Local governmental entities expect no fiscal impact.
This amendment passed statewide by a margin of 65 to 35 percent, garnering 1,572,592 in favor of and 826,777 against.
In Franklin County, the measure passed with a 60 to 39 percent margin, with 25,632 votes for and 17,025 against.
Ballot language for Amendment 2 asked to amend the Missouri Constitution to:
• Allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing/certification procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
• Impose a 4 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana; and
• Use funds from these taxes for health and care services for military veterans by the Missouri Veterans Commission and to administer the program to license/certify and regulate marijuana and marijuana facilities.
This proposal is estimated to generate annual taxes and fees of $18 million for state operating costs and veterans programs, and $6 million for local governments.
Annual state operating costs are estimated to be $7 million.
This proposed amendment was rejected by Missouri voters by a 68 to 31 percent margin, with 1,632,228 votes against and 747,977 in favor of.
Franklin County voting reflected the statewide trends with the amendment being rejected by a 71 to 28 margin, with 30,174 people rejecting the proposed amendment and 11,948 people voting in favor of.
Although the ballot language is different, Amendment 3 also involved medical marijuana, and asked shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
• Allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
• Impose a 15 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana, and a tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana flowers and leaves per dry-weight ounce to licensed facilities; and
• Use funds from these taxes to establish and fund a state research institute to conduct research with the purpose of developing cures and treatments for cancer and other incurable diseases or medical conditions?
This proposal was estimated to generate annual taxes and fees of $66 million.
This amendment was passed statewide by a slimmer margin than others on the ballot, with 52 percent of voters in favor of and 47 percent against. Overall, 1,186,643 people voted for the amendment and 1,079,356 against.
In Franklin County, the margin was only slightly larger, with 53 percent of voters in favor and 46 percent against. It received 21,350 affirmative votes and 18,718 against.
Amendment 4 asked voters if they wanted to amend the Missouri Constitution to:
• Remove language limiting bingo game advertising that a court ruled unenforceable; and
• Allow a member of a licensed organization conducting bingo games to participate in the management of bingo games after being a member of the organization for six months instead of the current two years?
State and local governmental entities estimate no costs or savings from this proposal.