Monthly Archives: October 2020
Former Senator Danforth called Amendment 3 trickery at an Oct. 19 forum sponsored by LWV of Southwest Missouri. “It is said to be a reform measured, but it is not. Gerrymandering is the big deal in this,” Danforth stressed. “The gift limitation is reduced from 5 bucks to 0. We are really a sorry state if people in the legislature are going to be bought for 5 bucks.”
“Amendment 3 puts Missouri on the course to be the most gerrymandered state in the country,” Sean Nicholson said. “It’s bad news.” Click here for the recording of the forum moderated by Kris Wood.
Two courts recently ruled that the ballot language proposed by legislators was intended to mislead voters. Amendment 3 is not about eliminating lobbyists gifts that are now capped at $5 or limiting campaign contributions for Senate candidates to $2,400. It’s about redistricting rules that would protect incumbent politicians by allowing unprecedented gerrymandering.
Voters in every state senate district approved Clean Missouri in 2018. The measure changed the redistricting process to have a non-partisan demographer use mapping software to propose legislative district maps that would be more fair and competitive. Clean Missouri also added strong language to protect minority communities from vote dilution. Experts say Amendment 3 would not just overturn the changes voters approved two years ago, it would allow twice the level of gerrymandering typically described as “severe.”
Hidden in Amendment 3 is language that could make Missouri the only state not using the total population count when drawing legislative districts. Instead, maps could be based on the number of eligible voters. That would leave out 1.5 million Missouri children, as well as immigrants and international students. Click here for a study by the Brennan Center for Justice that says it would be a serious obstacle to communities of color receiving fair representation. The fiscal note for Amendment 3 says “Individual local governmental entities expect significant decreased revenues of a total unknown amount.”
“Amendment 3 kicks equity and fairness to the curb,” says LWVMO Secretary Louise Wilkerson. “The fine print includes language that would allow more gerrymandering in Missouri than in any other state. It also removes protections for communities of color. That gets me especially mad.” Click here to read the fine print.