In 2018, Missouri voters agreed that it was time to clean up the Missouri legislature with fair and competitive district maps. Endorsed by Republican, Independent and Democratic reformers, more than 300,000 citizens signed the petition to put Clean Missouri on the ballot, and then they voted in favor, passing it with 62% of the vote. Missouri voters knew what they wanted.

This year, in the middle of a pandemic, ignoring the needs of the people and the previous vote of the people, about 130 politicians passed a bill to put Amendment 3 on the ballot.

Amendment 3 was designed to confuse and mislead voters, with minor changes to lobbyist gifts (from $5 to zero) and by lowering donations to Senate candidates by $100. The real goal of Amendment 3: to take power away from voters.

In 2018, Missouri voters approved a redistricting plan that calls for legislative district maps to be fair and competitive. The real goal of Amendment 3 on the 2020 ballot, if passed: give political parties more control and allow extreme gerrymandering of legislative districts. Maps could be drawn leaving out anyone under the age of 18 and noncitizens. Missouri would be the only state in the nation to not count total population.

Amendment 3 would take away the power of voters and judges to challenge the unconstitutional redistricting and would have negative effects on funding for local communities.

Legislators need to work for Missouri families and communities, not political parties. Voters need to select their representatives, not politicians selecting their voters.

Keep politicians accountable to all Missouri residents by voting “No” on Amendment 3.

Marilyn McLeod is president of the League of Women Voters of Columbia-Boone County.

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