Author Archives: lwvcbc

Poster Encourages Students to Register to Vote

Lafayette - Laura ChampionLaura Champion from Lafayette High School in the Rockwood School District just won LWVMO’s statewide poster contest to promote youth voter registration. The League will send a copy of Champion’s poster to every high school in Missouri before the April 2019 local elections.

Metro St. Louis League Co-presidents Nancy Miller and Louise Wilkerson surprised Champion with a $500 prize.

“This vibrant poster catches your attention,” Miller says. “Laura is a very talented young artist and I hope this poster will inspire more interest in voting among high school students.”

“The colors make it more exciting and enthusiastic, which is my stance on getting people to vote,” Champion said. “I’m passionate about having people’s voices heard.”

Miller noted that overall voter turn-out of almost 60 percent in November was unusually high for a mid-term election. An early estimate shows 31 percent of young adults ages 18 to 29 nationwide voted in 2018, but that would be an improvement over 20 percent in 2014.

State President Kathleen Boswell said, “We hope this poster will encourage more young people to register to vote as soon as they are eligible, which in Missouri is six months before their 18th birthday.”

The finalists in the competition included students from Kansas City, Sedalia, Springfield and Vandalia.

Nov. 10 Fall Workshop in Sedalia

Our fall meeting featured guest speakers Sarah Smith, General Manager of KMBC and KCWE TV in Kansas City, and Lafayette County Clerk Linda Niendick. Jessica Rohloff shared information on the LWVUS focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The day’s agenda included an update on the court cases and our high school poster contest encouraging students to register to vote, plus our plans to celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage and the Missouri League in 2019.

Pictured below are members of the growing LWV of Kansas City/Jackson/Clay/Platte Counties giving State President Kathleen Boswell a check for double the per member payment.

KC Check

Amendment 1 Cleans Up State Politics

Voters approved Amendment 1 by a wide margin (62-38) on Nov. 6, After careful study, LWVMO endorsed Clean Missouri’s ballot initiative in 2017. Using grants from the LWVUS Education Fund and the Election Reformers Network, LWVMO advocated for Amendment 1 and its changes to how legislative district maps would be drawn after each census.

“The League of Women Voters of Missouri played a crucial role in promoting the anti-gerrymandering provisions of Amendment 1,” said Clean Missouri Communications Director Benjamin Singer. “Thanks in big part to the League, Missouri will have more fair and competitive maps that protect minority representation and follow city and county lines when possible. Thank you, League of Women Voters of Missouri.”

LWVMO President Kathleen Boswell was encouraged by the vote. “Amendment 1 will clean up state politics by increasing fairness, integrity and transparency in government.”

Jeff City news conferenceAmendment 1 includes strong language ensuring racial fairness in redistricting. Besides improves the system for drawing fair maps, Amendment 1 bans most lobbyist gifts to legislators, lowers contribution limits for state house and senate races, requires state government to be more transparent, and makes other needed reforms. For more information and the complete text of the Constitutional amendment, go to www.cleanmissouri.org.

Information on Fall Ballot Issues

Fact Sheet on Statewide Issues on Nov. 6 Ballot    LWV Presentation on Fall Ballot Issues

Voters on Nov. 6 approved Amendment 1 to clean up Missouri politics, Amendment 2 on medical marijuana, Amendment 4 on Bingo and Prop B to raise the minimum wage.

The other two medical marijuana initiatives failed and so did Proposition D to raise the motor fuels tax.

The state minimum wage will go up 75 cents on Jan. 1 and then increase by 85 cents an hour each year until it reaches $12 per hour in 2023. The current state minimum wage is $7.85 an hour. Prop B accounts for changes in the Consumer Price Index after 2023 and penalizes employers who do not pay their workers minimum wage. Minimum pay would also increase for restaurant staff and other exempt workers (51 percent of the minimum wage in 2019 rising to 60 percent in 2024). Government employers and businesses with annual gross income less than $500,000 are not required to pay the state minimum wage.

Click here for a fact sheet on Prop B.

Court rules against state on photo ID law

The Missouri Court of Appeals sided with the League and the NAACP in our challenge of the photo ID law. The court found “insufficient appropriation” for implementing the law, including providing advance notice to voters and providing ID and underlying documents for voters to obtain an ID without cost. The court ordered the case back to the trial court. Denise Lieberman said this ruling is a recognition that the state cannot implement onerous voting rules and not provide the mechanisms to effectively implement them.

In a similar suit brought by Priorities USA, the Missouri Supreme Court said voters with identification but not a driver’s license or passport don’t have to sign an affidavit. Acceptable forms of ID include a voter ID card, college ID, utility bill and bank statement with name and current address.

Creating a More Perfect Democracy

Missouri sends 20 delegates to LWVUS 53rd biennial convention

Twenty women from Missouri enjoyed Creating a More Perfect Democracy, the 2018 National Convention at the Chicago Hilton. Mary Merritt, LWV Missouri sold about $6,500 worth of merchandise. State President Kathleen Boswell dressed as a suffragist and took photos of National President Chris Carson, LWVUS Board Member Deborah Turner and many other Leaguers in front of our backdrop.

Banquet speaker Elaine Weiss, the author of The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote., inspired the audience with details of how Carrie Chapman Catt, Alice Paul and others worked to get the Tennessee Legislature to adopt the 19th Amendment in 1920. Weiss is pictured in the slideshow below with Admin. Mgr. Jean Dugan.

Other delegates from Missouri were Cheryl Barnes, Donna Hoch, Evelyn Maddox and Pauline Testerman (Kansas City), Jill Young (SEMO), Meredith Donaldson and Sharon Schneeberger (Columbia),  Angie Dunlap, Debby Howard, Nancy Miller and her granddaughter Bella White, Jennifer Rushing, Sydell Shayer, Catherine Stenger and Louise Wilkerson (St. Louis), Joan Gentry and Lorraine Sandstrom (SWMO).

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Equal Rights Amendment

The Equal Rights Amendment – Hearing Held Feb. 20

The Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee held a hearing on SCR 41, a resolution to ratify the ERA. The League was one of many groups to testify in support of the ERA.

Background:
The proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) states that the rights guaranteed by the Constitution apply equally to all persons regardless of their sex. After the 19th Amendment affirming women’s right to vote was ratified in 1920, suffragist leader Alice Paul introduced the ERA in 1923 as the next step in bringing “equal justice under law” to all citizens.

In 1972, the ERA was finally passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. The original seven-year time limit was extended by Congress to June 30, 1982, but at that deadline, the ERA had been ratified by only 35 states, three states short of the 38 required to put it into the Constitution. The ERA has been introduced into every Congress since the deadline, and beginning in 1994, ERA advocates have been pursuing two different routes to ratification: the traditional process described in Article V of the Constitution (passage by a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, followed by ratification by three-quarters of the states), and the innovative “three-state strategy” (ratification in three more of the 15 state legislatures that did not ratify the ERA in 1972-82, based on legal analysis that when three more states vote yes, this process could withstand legal challenge and accomplish ratification of the ERA).

Nevada passed the ERA in 2017 and Illinois passed it in 2018. Only one more state is needed. Why not Missouri?