Monthly Archives: May 2022
The Missouri Senate gave final approval to a new congressional district map before adjourning on May 13. Experts say it will likely keep a 6-2 partisan split in the Missouri delegation. The League is concerned that it splits 10 counties and the 3rd District is not compact. Click here to see the new lines.
The Missouri House approved a “least change” map for congressional districts on Jan. 19. A few Republicans had blocked action in the Senate, promoting a 7-1 partisan gerrymander and refusing to go to conference. The House proposed this revised map the final week of session. The Governor signed it with little time to spare before election authorities need to get information to voters in the military.
The League shared research with legislators showing that 46.5 percent of Missouri voters supported Democrats in recent elections for Governor, U.S. Senate and President.
League members from across the state joined more than 100 voting rights advocates in Jefferson City on May 3. LWVMO President Marilyn McLeod credited a strong grassroots effort for the legislature’s failure to pass HJR79 to limit citizen initiative petitions.
“The initiative petition process is a sacred and trusted right of the citizens of Missouri,” McLeod had testified. “Only 28 of 69 citizen-initiated Constitutional amendments have ever been approved. Many more proposed initiatives never got enough signatures to make it on the ballot.”
The General Assembly did give final approval to HB1878, an anti-voter bill that the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition says places “unnecessary, unconstitutional, and burdensome voting restrictions that undermine Missourians’ right to vote and undermine free and fair elections in Missouri.”
“Limiting the right to vote for some citizens is a limit to the right to vote for all citizens,” says McLeod. In a letter to Governor Parson, she stressed the League’s concern about language that could limit its voter service activities. “This legislation provides unnecessary roadblocks to our most basic right, the right to vote,” she wrote. “Among its many provisions, it requires an extremely limited form of ID to be able to vote which will disenfranchise thousands of citizens who are fully qualified to vote, including voters whose driver’s license recently expired.
“New provisions in HB1878 would allow unnecessary voter purges, make it more difficult for people with disabilities to vote independently, and prevent local election authorities from receiving grant funds to improve their outreach to the citizenry.
“As we understand it, this bill eliminates the requirement for the Secretary of State to inform the people of the change in requirements to be able to vote. Since the right to vote is the basis of all our rights, then properly informing the citizens could not be more critical.”
More than 75 LWVMO members participated in a hybrid Spring Conference on April 30 at the Schweitzer Brentwood Library in Springfield.
Thanks to the wonderful speakers on public school issues, ranked choice voting, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Dr. Grenita Lathan, Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools and Dr. Denise Fredrick, SPS Board Member and retired educator; Dr. Caitlin Davies, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Missouri State University; and Jerry Williams, O’Reilly Automotive DEI Professional, with Krista Moncado from the Ozark Community Foundation. We also appreciate the wonderful hospitality provided by members of LWV of Southwest Missouri.
Congratulations to the winners of the Rachel Farr Fitch Health Care Award: Legal Services of Easter Missouri Attorney Joel Ferber and CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards.