Category Archives: Uncategorized

Voting law changes take effect Aug. 28

Starting on Aug. 28, it will be harder to vote in Missouri. The Governor signed HB1878 that adds a requirement that voters show an unexpired state-issued photo ID or passport. Click here if you know a non-driver or student who may be burdened by this new law. Previously, acceptable ID to vote included a voter ID card, student ID, recent utility bill, or driver’s license that had recently expired.

Voters should check the expiration date on their driver’s license.

The League is reaching out to the Secretary of State for more information on voting registration restrictions and other voting law changes for the Nov. 8 election. Contact the office at league@lwvmissouri for a link to an Aug. 18 webinar: What voters and League members need to know.

League Supports Reproductive Rights

The U.S. House recently passed two bills to protect the right to access reproductive health care. Passage is unlikely in the U.S. Senate this year.

The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) would protect the right to access abortion nationwide by providing a federal safeguard against abortion bans and restrictions.

The Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act would reaffirm the right to travel out-of-state to seek abortion care and to help those who do.

LWVUS Convention Approves Expanded Making Democracy Work Campaign

Missouri sent 17 delegates to Denver, with another dozen virtual delegates and two observers.

The League of Women Voters added direct election of the president to its Making Democracy Work campaign at the 2022 National Convention in Denver. Delegates to the hybrid convention also narrowly approved a structural transformation proposal to move to a unified dues system and eliminate annual Per Member Payments (PMP) by 2024.

Oct. 2 Book Discussion

The League’s DEI Book Group is now reading Braiding Sweetgrass – Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

League members previously read the The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGee and Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland by Jonathan M. Metzl. Watch for a link to sign up for the next DEI Book Discussion on Zoom at 4 pm on Sunday, Oct. 2.

Governor Signs Congressional District Map

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.

Legislature Approves Anti-Voter Bill, Adjourns Without Changing Citizen Initiative Petition Process

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.”

Marian Miller, Gena McClendon, Marilyn McLeod and Evelyn Maddox in the Capitol

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.” 

League Cosponsors Jan. 6 Vigils

Signs were printed using grant funds from the LWVUS Education Fund.

On Thursday, Jan. 6, League members joined hundreds of other voting rights advocates in Missouri to mark last January’s attack on democracy.

“The insurrection last Jan. 6 was a clear attack on our democracy. We need the federal election reforms in the Freedom to Vote Act to protect the right of all eligible citizens to vote and have their vote count,” says LWVMO President Marilyn McLeod. “In 2021, 19 states passed legislation making it more difficult to vote. As Missouri legislators return to work in Jefferson City this week, we want them to recognize that most voters and election officials liked the safe voting options they approved in 2020 and are against making it harder for citizens to vote or to put an initiative on the ballot.”

League Calls for Better Partisan Balance in Missouri’s 8 Congressional Districts

“Fair redistricting is a high priority for the League, since the new maps will shape our lives for the next 10 years,” says LWVMO President Marilyn McLeod. “It’s all about fairness. The League wants to see more competitive districts that reflect Missouri’s political landscape and give voters a greater voice in their government at all levels.”

Reapportionment is an important task the General Assembly must complete after each U.S. Census. The Missouri Constitution requires congressional maps to be drawn using voting data averaged from governor, U.S. Senate, and Presidential races for the past three general elections (Mo. Const. art. III, §3). According to this set of data from 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections, Missouri voters are roughly 46.5 percent Democrat and 53.5 percent Republican.

Compactness and good political fairness are achievable for Missouri.” That is the conclusion of a report the Institute for Computational Redistricting (ICOR), a research group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, prepared for LWVMO. “Partisan fairness can be substantially improved in congressional plans while maintaining compactness and a majority-minority district.”

The League shared ICOR’s report and sample nonpartisan maps with legislators in December. Both of these maps have an efficiency gap of less than 2.5. The efficiency gap is a tool used by demographers to gauge political gerrymandering, the degree to which district maps are drawn for partisan advantage. Click here for a list of legislators serving on the House and Senate Redistricting Committees.

EG1

EG 1: https://davesredistricting.org/join/eb7fdd4b-aa8b-49b4-bdf0-5af1ef8ae382
EG2: https://davesredistricting.org/join/7ca90c87-a316-4e6e-b83b-d78bc726f458

The League encouraged legislators to use a transparent process and allow ample time for analysis and public comment on proposed maps

Stick to the facts on social media

The League is proud to work with the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition to educate social media users on disinformation. Repeating a lie even to debunk it actually just helps perpetuate the lie.

Click here for more information.

Hot Topics at Nov. 13 Fall Conference

LWVMO members praised the excellent material presented at the 2021 Fall Conference on Saturday, Nov. 13. The theme was Hot Topics: Past, Present and Future.

  • Legislative outlook by Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon
  • Suffrage to Statecraft. A Closer Look at Dress of Missouri Suffragists and Trailblazing Stateswomen from the MHCTC Exhibition by Nicole Johnston, Curator, Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection, University of Missouri
  • Update on Legislative and Congressional Redistricting in MO by Sharon Schneeberger
  • Paid Leave – State Study presentation by Alice Kitchen, LWV KC/Jackson/Clay/Platte Counties
  • DEI presentation “Our Changing Communities”by Tina Weaver, Executive Director of the North Kansas City YMCA
  • The Legislature, Courts and Voters presentation by Evelyn Maddox and Donna Hoch
  • Interactive discussion of common issues for urban and rural voters to set LWVMO legislative priorities for 2022
  • How to effectively communicate with legislators by Liz Zerr, MNEA
  • Update on activities by local League presidents