SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A judge in Cole County has ruled in favor of the Missouri Secretary of state in a lawsuit disputing whether signatures that were certified at the last minute were valid because they were verified by the state instead of the county.

The ruling stated the judge determined the signatures gathered were valid in six of Missouri’s eight districts, which is what is needed to get an initiative petition on the ballot. It also states the plaintiff, Joy Sweeney did not provide sufficient evidence she is a citizen.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft validated thousands of Greene County signatures previously disqualified just before the Aug. 9 deadline to determine whether the petition, known as LegalMo22, had enough support to put it on the November ballot.

Sweeney sued the state, claiming the county that invalidated the signatures – Greene County – should have been the county to certify the signatures. The judge’s ruling stated, “The secretary retains the ultimate authority as to whether the petition is sufficient.”