Opponents: Enough signatures gathered to put Cape urban deer hunts on ballot

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A group that hopes to overturn a recently passed Cape Girardeau ordinance establishing an urban deer hunting program already has thousands of notarized petition signatures.

Stephen Stigers, an organizer with the Keep Cape Safe group that is affiliated with Cape Friends of Wildlife, said Friday that more than 3,000 petition signatures are in hand and notarized, and the group has several hundred more signatures that still need notarizing.

The group already had more than 1,500 signatures before gathering more outside of polling places during Tuesday's primary election. Keep Cape Safe needs 2,446 signatures to place a referendum on a ballot to overturn the hunting ordinance.

Stigers said the group has asked members to get their remaining signatures notarized before it meets again Thursday night at the Cape Girardeau Public Library. The group will then review the signatures and turn them in to city hall.

Having at least 2,446 valid signatures would suspend the ordinance until the election. The ordinance would allow archery hunts on selected parcels within Cape Girardeau city limits.

A special election for just the deer hunting issue would cost $25,000, according to city officials. Stigers has said he hopes the group can get the issue on the ballot in an election that's already scheduled to reduce the taxpayer burden.

Keep Cape Safe has 40 days from the passing of the ordinance -- which was voted through July 16 -- to turn in the signatures, and the city clerk then has 20 days to certify them.

More information on the group is available at www.keepcapesafe.com.

Pertinent address:

Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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