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Missouri voters approve recreational marijuana; Schmitt to replace Sen. Blunt

Missourians went to the polls Nov. 8. They elected a U.S. Senator to replace the retiring Roy Blunt, selected other statewide and county officers, decided the fate of four amendments to the Missouri Constitution, and chose whether to hold a constitutional convention.

U.S. Senate

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt will step into Blunt’s shoes as our U.S. Senator after receiving 1,143,626 votes (55%).

Democrat Trudy Valentine Bush came in second with 868,873 votes (42%). (All vote totals are unofficial results reported by the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office on Nov. 9.)

State Treasurer

In the only other statewide election for office, voters chose State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick to be the new state auditor. The Republican defeated his Democrat opponent, Alan Green, 1,216,026 (59%) to 768,500 (38%).

Amendment 3

After legalizing marijuana for medicinal use in 2018, it probably came as no surprise that voters approved the recreational use of marijuana by people over 21. Voters approved Amendment 3 to the Missouri Constitution 1,089,326 (53%) to 961,909 (47%).

The amendment removes state prohibitions on purchasing, possessing, consuming, using, delivering, manufacturing and selling marijuana for personal use. It also allows convicts with certain marijuana-related non-violent offenses to petition for release from incarceration or parole and have their records expunged.

The legalization of marijuana is expected to produce at least $40.8 million in revenue annually for the state and $13.8 million in revenue annually for local communities by imposing a 6% tax on the sale of marijuana.

Sheriffs across Missouri stood united in opposition to Amendment 3. “Amendment 3 contains more than 30 pages of constitutionally created rights, with several sections creating dangerous threats to our citizens. Amendment 3 goes far beyond legalizing recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older” they stated in a press release.

Amendment 1

Missouri voters said “No” to Constitutional Amendment 1, which would have allowed new investments of the state’s money, generating additional interest revenue. The vote was 894,056 (46%) for and 1,061,253 (54%) against.

Amendment 4

Voters approved Constitutional Amendment 4, which authorizes a state board of police commissioners to make sure police forces receive additional resources to serve their communities from laws that increase police funding which are passed prior to Dec. 31, 2026. The amendment passed 1,265,938 (63%) to 735,835 (37%).

Amendment 5

Constitutional Amendment 5 removes the Missouri National Guard from under the Department of Public Safety and creates a new Missouri Department of the NationalGuard. This passed 1,193,908 (60%) to 788,184 (40%).

Constitutional Convention

A request from Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft to hold a Constitutional Convention was rejected by Missourians on a vote of 632,200 “Yes” (32%) to 1,324,937 “No” (68%).

U.S. Representative — District 8

Republican incumbent Jason Smith handily defeated his opponents to retain his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for District 8, receiving 186,259 votes (76%). His closest opponent was Democrat candidate Randi McCallian, who received 53,881 votes (22%).

State Representative — District 147

After State Rep. Wayne Wallingford was appointed to lead the Department of Revenue effective last Jan. 3, there was a three-way race to fill his empty seat in District 147 (Cape Girardeau). Republican John Voss came out on top with 6,971 votes (65%). Democrat Andy Leighton came in second with 3,390 votes (31%) and Libertarian Greg Tlapek finished a distant third with 449 votes (4%).

Uncontested races

The following Republican candidates ran unopposed in this election and were returned to their offices: Barry Hovis, state representative, Dist. 146 (Jackson); Herman Morse, state representative, Dist. 151 (southwest corner of Cape County); Frank E. Miller, associate circuit judge, Div. 3; Julia Koester, associate circuit judge, Div. 4; Clint Tracy, presiding commissioner; Kara Clark Summers, county clerk; Andrew David (Drew) Blattner, recorder of deeds; Mark J. Welker, prosecuting attorney; Eugene (Pete) Frazier III, county auditor; and Barbara Gholson, collector of revenue.

Republican Ashley Schluesser ran unopposed for clerk of the circuit court. She will replace Charleen Biester, whom she defeated in the Aug. 2 primary election.

Missouri Court of Appeals Judge for the Eastern District Michael E. Gardener was returned to the bench. (He was formerly a 32nd Judicial Circuit Court judge in Cape County).

New election integrity measures

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft thanked local election authorities, poll workers and voters for another successful general election.

This was the first statewide election implementing the new election integrity measures called for in HB 1878.

Changes to Missouri’s voting laws included two weeks of no-excuse in-person absentee voting and required voters to show a valid photo ID or cast a provisional ballot.

“First, I want to thank our election authorities and the thousands of poll workers across the state who worked long hours yesterday,” said Ashcroft. “As well, I want to thank the people of Missouri who made their voices heard. Missouri can’t have safe, accurate and accessible elections without voters.”

Unofficial totals show a turnout with just over two million registered voters casting a ballot in Missouri.

Unofficial election results of the 2022 general election can be viewed at enr.sos.mo.gov.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at cashbook@mvp.net.

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