As a newer resident of Missouri, I must say that I am more than a bit bewildered by the decision-making of leadership in Jefferson City.

I assume that Missouri is interested in positioning itself as a state that is rational in its decision-making and results-oriented in its actions (for all of its citizens, both current and prospective).

I also assume that in a democratic society, elected officials act as true public servants and listen to the voice of their constituents.

For these reasons, I am dismayed at the decision-making in several recent instances, especially as it pertains to voting, COVID-19 and policing.

In all three cases, I question why we choose to ignore the science and allow the data to guide our decisions, especially in the face of a public health disaster (look what Germany and Vietnam have done to better control COVID).

Or why we don’t consider the academic research concerning voter fraud and look at successful examples of mail-in voting (in 19 years of mail-in voting in Oregon, there have been only 15 instances of fraud).

Or what of the success stories of police reform in cities like Eugene, Oregon; and Stockton, California; and Camden, New Jersey?

I am completely appalled at the idea of trying children as adults when we have so much evidence of brain development and the lack of rational decision-making in teens.

We live in an age where there is so much data and science and research and evidence-based study to guide decision-making.

Why do we choose to ignore or set aside current tools and practices and evidence and not do what is best for Missouri citizens?

Why would Missouri not want to be a model of success for others to follow?

Linda Smith of Columbia is a new Missouri resident with an interest in intelligent public service and social justice.

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