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If there is an issue that you think should become a law, you don’t have to wait until your state legislature agrees with you. You can let the voters decide by filing a ballot initiative. Your direct action can qualify your measure to be on the ballot in the next statewide election.

Last updated on: December 9, 2020

Qualified voters in the state of Missouri have the power of initiative. They can propose and enact laws by initiative petition statewide. 

The following information is a brief overview of the initiative process and guidelines. For a more detailed description visit the guidelines put together by the secretary of state.

Getting Started

Petitioners will need to submit the proposed Initiative to the secretary of state. The secretary of state will forward a copy of the initiative to the attorney general, the auditor’s office, and then posted online for at least 30 days to allow the public to comment.

You need approval from the secretary of state and then the attorney general. If approved, then the initiative will receive a ballot title and summary as prepare by the secretary of state and petitioning may begin.


The Secretary of state’s office must receive the valid signed petitions no less than six months prior to the next election. Petitioners must also follow the proper procedures for the state of Missouri petitioning process. 
The type of petition you are filing determines the number of signatures you will need. The number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. These numbers are subject to change, so be sure to check with the secretary of state’s office for current requirements.