JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's primary ballot Tuesday is heavy on ballot issues and light on contested races for top offices. Here's a look at some of the choices facing voters.
Constitutional Amendment 7 proposes a three-quarters cent sales tax for roads and other types of transportation. It's projected to generate at least $540 million annually for 10 years. The Missouri Department of Transportation has approved over 800 projects to be funded by the tax, the largest being the widening of Interstate 70 to three lanes in each direction between Kansas City and St. Louis. The amendment also prohibits changes in the gas tax or the imposition of toll roads while the sales tax hike is in effect.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 states that the right "to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state." Passage would make Missouri the second state, following North Dakota, to place farming rights in its constitution.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment 5 would enhance the state's current right to keep and bear arms by expanding it to cover ammunition and accessories and declaring that such rights are "unalienable." The measure would subject gun-control restrictions to strict scrutiny in the courts and would delete a current constitutional provision allowing restrictions on concealed guns.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment 9 seeks to expand the state's current warrant requirements for police to carry out searches or seizures to cover electronic data and communication, such as cellphones.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment 8 would create a Missouri Lottery game to benefit veterans' nursing homes and cemeteries. All lottery proceeds not used for prizes or administration currently go to education.
Incumbent Tom Schweich faces no challenge in the Republican primary, and Democrats failed to field a candidate. He will advance to face Libertarian and Constitution party candidates in the Nov. 4 general election.
Five of Missouri's eight U.S. House members face primary challengers from opponents with less name identification and campaign money. They all will face opposition in the November election.
Republicans could re-gain a two-thirds majority needed to override vetoes in the Missouri House if they win at least one of three special elections for vacant seats. The winners could take office in time for the Sept. 10 veto session. Separately, there are about 50 contested primaries for legislative seats, which will determine party nominees for the November elections.