Monthly Archives: February 2021

Redistricting Process Must Be Transparent

Voters narrowly approved Amendment 3 on Nov. 3, overturning Clean Missouri’s redistricting reforms. As legislative redistricting proceeds under the new rules in 2021, the League will continue to fight for fair maps and a transparent redistricting process. Almost 100 members across the state participated in a Fair Maps Zoom on Feb. 21. Click here for one of the two presentations the committee shared. Click here for the League’s redistricting fact sheet.

A committee headed by Sharon Schneeberger of Columbia hopes Missouri will follow the PACT guidelines proposed by Dr. Sheldon H. Jacobson of the University of Illinois.

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P: People over politics in carrying out the redistricting process.
A: Accountability of those involved in making the maps.
C: Compromise in making decisions about the goals.
T: Transparency in each step of the process.

Amendment 3 could allow twice the level of gerrymandering typically described as “severe,” but it doesn’t have to. The League is especially concerned about language calling for “one person one vote” since it could make Missouri the only state not using the total population count when drawing legislative districts. That would leave out 1.5 million Missouri children. Click here for a study by the Brennan Center for Justice that calls it a serious obstacle to communities of color receiving fair representation.

“We are committed to ensuring as fair an outcome as possible when new maps are drawn,” says Clean Missouri’s Sean Nicholson. “Amendment 3 was written to allow for truly radical gerrymandering, but it does not require it. The broad bipartisan coalition that passed Clean Missouri will be active and engaged in the 2021 redistricting process to ensure that voters and communities come first in new maps, not politicians.”

Click here for information on People Powered Fair Maps, the LWVUS national redistricting program.

65th State Convention Goes Virtual May 15

Local Presidents will soon receive information to register delegates to LWVMO’s 65th State Convention. The virtual convention will begin at 9 am on Saturday, May 15, with pre-convention events on the preceding Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

The convention speaker will be Dr. Deborah Turner, President of LWVUS. She served on the LWVUS National Board from 2016-present. She served as vice president of LWV Iowa from 2011–2015 and President of LWV Des Moines Metropolitan from 2010–2015. She obtained her JD from Drake University and her MD from University of Iowa. She has been a Gynecologic Oncologist for 30 years. Deborah served on the Board Regents for the State of Iowa (1999-2006), and was entered into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013. She lives in Nebraska and has two grown children – a son and a niece. She says, “I believe no child should be restrained by the circumstances of their birth. The League, through our leadership in the democracy space, can make this dream a reality.”

Supporting Election Reforms

The League is calling on President-Elect Joe Biden and the next Congress to act on democracy reforms early in 2021. LWVUS has called for national advocacy on the For the People Act, HR 1 in the House and S1 in the Senate. Click here for a fact sheet.

This legislation was reintroduced in the 117th Congress to support free, fair and accessible elections and voters’ rights. The House passed it in March 2019 but it was never debated in the Senate. This comprehensive bill would transform our political system into one that is more inclusive, responsive, and representative of the American people. Its reforms would:

  • Expand and protect voting rights and access to the ballot;
  • Put ordinary Americans ahead of Big Money donors;
  • End gerrymandering so that electoral districts are fairly drawn; and
  • Clean up government and hold elected officials to the highest ethical standards.

The Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR 4) passed the U.S. House on Dec. 6, 2019. The bill would restore parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court eliminated in Shelby County vs. Holder (2013). States would again have to receive preapproval from the Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before making legal changes to their voting practices.