By TIM ROWDEN
As the Missouri AFL-CIO and its affiliate unions prepare to begin circulating a Citizens Referendum petition to stop so-called “right-to-work” (for less) from becoming law in Missouri, the Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans Education Fund is offering up assistance to local unions in getting their members registered to vote – the first essential step in having your signature counted on the petition.
Earline Jones, president of the Missouri Alliance of Retired Americans (MOARA) Education Fund, told the Greater St. Louis Labor Council Executive Board at a recent meeting the Alliance would provide volunteers to attend union meetings to help members and their families register to vote.
The campaign must turn in more than 160,000 valid signatures of registered voters by Aug. 25, before the law is scheduled to take effect on Aug. 28 to halt its implementation. If successful, implementation of the “right-to-work” law passed this year by the Missouri Legislature and signed by Governor Eric Greitens would be put on hold until Missouri voters have a chance to decide the measure in 2018.
Key to launching the effort is obtaining final approval for the referendum’s language from the Secretary of State’s office, which is playing games with the approval process in an effort to slow down the campaign’s momentum. The office finally approved the referendum on March 28.
While union members are eager to sign the petition and help gather signatures, there are several steps that must be taken to ensure the campaign is successful, chief among them registering to vote.
“This is something we can do, and something we must do,” Jones said, highlighting the importance of getting union members and their family members registered to ensure their signatures will count.
To have MOARA volunteers attend your union meeting, contact Jones at 314-355-6860 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Alliance, visit retiredamericans.org.
Petition must be signed exactly as you are registered to vote
Before you sign the Citizens Referendum to stop RTW, be sure you know how your name appears on your voter registration. Your signature must appear exactly as it is listed on your voter registration in order for it to count.
There are a few ways you can determine how your name appears on your voter registration:
• CHECK THE MAIL: If you are a registered voter, you should receive a postcard from your county clerk or local election authority prior to the April 4 election. The way your name appears on this card is how you are registered. For instance, if the card is addressed to Sam E. Smith, that is how you are registered and how you must sign the petition.
• CHECK WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE: Look up your registration on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website at s1.sos.mo.gov/elections/VoterLookup/. You will need to provide your name, address, birth date and county in which you are registered
• REGISTER TO VOTE: You can register to vote as many times as you like. If you’re unsure how your name appears on your registration, simply reregister. Opportunities to register will be provided at upcoming union meetings, or you can do so online at sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/register.