Mo. House approves new requirements for petition-signature gatherers

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The House endorses new restrictions on people gathering signatures to get initiative petitions on the ballot.

Signature-seekers would need to be Missouri residents and would not be allowed to simultaneously ask people to support separate petitions. The legislation also would prohibit paying gatherers for each name they get.

Supporters say initiative petitions have become a business venture for companies, with employees paid to collect signatures.

Critics questioned if the companies would instead start paying for each sheet of signatures rather than for each name.

The measure also would make it a felony with up to five years in prison if someone signs a petition with something other than his or her name.

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