Amendment 1 was approved with 62 percent of the vote on Nov. 6, winning a majority in every state senate district. The League is reaching out to Governor Mike Parson and legislators, asking them to respect the people of Missouri and not undermine this effort to clean up Missouri politics.
After careful study, LWVMO endorsed the constitutional amendment 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.”
Amendment 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.
By a wide margin, voters on Nov. 6 approved a Constitutional Amendment to clean up Missouri politics. Several bills were introduced in 2019 to negate Amendment 1’s redistricting reform and sunshine law expansion. HJR 48 would have asked voters in 2020 to eliminate the nonpartisan state demographer and move partisan fairness and competitiveness to the lowest priority in the redistricting process. The House also added language that could shift the basis of redistricting away from total population, as is currently the practice in all 50 states. LWVMO encouraged legislators to Respect Missouri Voters and the Senate adjourned without voting on HJR48.
Voters in 2018 also approved Amendment 2 on medical marijuana, Amendment 4 on Bingo, and Prop B to raise the minimum wage by 85 cents an hour each year until it reaches $12 per hour in 2023.
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.
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).
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.
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?