116.130. 1. The secretary of state may send copies of petition pages to election authorities to verify that the persons whose names are listed as signers to the petition are registered voters. Such verification may either be of each signature or by random sampling as provided in section 116.120, as the secretary shall direct. If copies of the petition pages are sent to an election authority for verification, such copies shall be sent pursuant to the following schedule:
(1) Copies of all pages from not less than one petition shall be received in the office of the election authority not later than two weeks after the petition is filed in the office of secretary of state;
(2) Copies of all pages of a total of three petitions shall be received in the office of the election authority not later than three weeks after the petition is filed in the office of the secretary of state;
(3) If more than three petitions are filed, all copies of petition pages, including those petitions selected for verification by random sample pursuant to section 116.120, shall be received in the office of the election authority not later than the fourth week after the petition is filed in the office of the secretary of state.
Each election authority shall check the signatures against voter registration records in the election authority's jurisdiction, but the election authority shall count as valid only the signatures of persons registered as voters in the county named in the circulator's affidavit. Signatures shall not be counted as valid if they have been struck through or crossed out.
2. If the election authority is requested to verify the petition by random sampling, such verification shall be completed and certified not later than thirty days from the date that the election authority receives the petition from the secretary of state. If the election authority is to verify each signature, such verification must be completed, certified and delivered to the secretary of state by 5:00 p.m. on the last Tuesday in July prior to the election, or in the event of complete verification of signatures after a failed random sample, full verification shall be completed, certified and delivered to the secretary of state by 5:00 p.m. on the last Tuesday in July or by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday of the fifth week after receipt of the signatures by the local election authority, whichever is later.
3. If the election authority or the secretary of state determines that the congressional district number written after the signature of any voter is not the congressional district of which the voter is a resident, the election authority or the secretary of state shall correct the congressional district number on the petition page. Failure of a voter to give the voter's correct congressional district number shall not by itself be grounds for not counting the voter's signature.
4. The election authority shall return the copies of the petition pages to the secretary of state with annotations regarding any invalid or questionable signatures which the election authority has been asked to check by the secretary of state. The election authority shall verify the number of pages received for that county, and also certify the total number of valid signatures of voters from each congressional district which the election authority has been asked to check by the secretary of state.
5. The secretary of state is authorized to adopt rules to ensure uniform, complete, and accurate checking of petition signatures either by actual count or random sampling. No rule or portion of a rule promulgated pursuant to this section shall become effective unless it has been promulgated pursuant to the provisions of chapter 536.
6. After a period of three years from the time of submission of the petitions to the secretary of state, the secretary of state, if the secretary determines that retention of such petitions is no longer necessary, may destroy such petitions.
(L. 1980 S.B. 658, A.L. 1988 S.B. 647, A.L. 1995 S.B. 3, A.L. 1997 S.B. 132, A.L. 1999 H.B. 676, A.L. 2003 S.B. 50)
Missouri General Assembly