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Tobacco tax supporters will appeal being left off ballot

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Backers of a tobacco tax initiative say they will appeal Tuesday's decision by the Missouri Secretary of State to keep the issue off of the November ballot.

Robin Carnahan's office says the ballot initiative fell short of the number of valid signatures required.

But Mike Kelly, with the Committee for a Healthy Future, says the group turned in 3,000 more signatures than necessary, and they will challenge the decision.

"We'll bring in handwriting experts if necessary. We'll make sure that maybe it wasn't the case that somebody just had a, the apartment number might have been missing one number because of a lack of space and we'll exhaust all options to make sure," Kelly said Tuesday.

Kelly says his group was informed they were 274 valid signatures short in the 5th Congressional District, which is in the Kansas City area.

The initiative would raise taxes on tobacco products to pay for healthcare for low-income residents and Medicaid recipients.

Kelly's group has ten days to challenge the decision.

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