Missouri voters approve Amendment 3, reversing redistricting process approved in 2018

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missourians have approved Amendment 3 Tuesday, reversing the redistricting process voters just approved two years ago.

Amendment 3 was one of two questions on Missouri ballots for the general election. It asked voters if they wanted to amend the Missouri Constitution to ban gifts from paid lobbyists to legislators and reduce campaign contribution limits.

But a third aspect of Amendment 3 will reverse a key element of the “Clean Missouri Initiative,” which Missourians largely passed in 2018.

The “Clean Missouri Initiative” created a non-partisan demographer for state legislative redistricting. Under Clean Missouri, the state auditor and Senate majority and minority leaders picked the demographer to redraw the districts. A bipartisan commission could then make changes to that map if 70% of its members approve.

But Amendment 3 will now return the redistricting process to a 20-person bipartisan commission, made up of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats who are appointed by the governor.

But why does the redistricting process matter to voters? District lines determine who your local representative is in local and national elections. Changing them could change your representation in the state house, senate or even Congress.

Supporters of Amendment 3 said the change would making sure local communities stay together, have local representation and that district counts only include legal residents.

Opponents, however, argued the amendment lets lobbyists and political operatives draw maps in backrooms to protect their favorite politicians.

It will go into effect at the beginning of 2021. Redistricting is done once every 10 years after the completion of the U.S. census.

The Clean Missouri campaign released the following statement Tuesday night:

“We are of course very disappointed that the politicians’ lies and deception appear to have been effective enough to pass Amendment 3. Thousands of volunteers from across the state and across the political spectrum have been working for years to pass and then defend fair redistricting rules in our constitution, and today we came up short. 

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

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