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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2011
ACLU Files Class-Action Lawsuit on Behalf Voters of Poplar Bluff
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO. — The ACLU of Eastern Missouri filed a lawsuit today on behalf of registered voters of the City of Poplar Bluff who signed an initiative petition that the City Clerk, Pamela S. Kearbey, has refused to certify. Barbara Rexroat and Katherine Carda, two individuals who signed the petition filed the suit on their own behalf and on behalf of the class of at least 2,898 other registered voters who signed the petition.
The suit alleges that Missouri law gives citizens the right to an initiative petition that allows voters to decide whether to enacted proposed ordinances. Under state law, proponents were required to submit the signatures of approximately 830 registered voters. Although Kearney determined the initiative petition contained more than three times that number of valid signatures, she refused to certify the petition. The suit alleges Kearbey arbitrarily imposed a different signature requirement.
“Despite letters and phone calls, Poplar Bluff has refused to inform us how they settled on the arbitrary standard they are applying to the initiative petition,” said Brenda Jones, Executive Director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri Legal Director. “The right of voters to propose laws is at the core of democracy. Poplar Bluff’s refusal to allow its citizens to vote is unacceptable.”
According to the lawsuit, voters who signed the petition have been deprived of the initiative process without due process and in violation of state law.
View the legal document filed: Complaint – Rexroat v. City of Poplar Bluff