Amendment 3 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t fall for the trap. The “disguise” is a pretense of reducing money in politics. The wolf underneath is a terrible plan that would allow political incumbents to keep their power, without listening to constituents, by making backroom deals to draw unfair legislative districts.

Missourians voted by a huge margin in 2018 for cleaner, fairer elections. We limited lobbyist gifts and campaign contributions. Clean Missouri set up an open process to create legislative maps using objective criteria. The public was given access to the data being used and politicians couldn’t control the process to their own advantage.

Amendment 3 doesn’t just erase that vote, it goes much further. It hides important steps in the process and subjects it to political control. It would make us the only state in the U.S. that doesn’t count children when drawing district maps. Areas with lots of young people would lose representation. It would weaken protections for voters of color. Worst of all, it would take away citizens’ rights to challenge unfair districts in court.

Its impact on political money is scant — it would reduce limits on gifts from paid lobbyists from $5 to $0 and contributions to Senate races by $100. Big deal. Definitely not worth losing Clean Missouri voter protections.

Redistricting will happen in 2021 and every 10 years after that. Keep Missouri on track for a clean, fair, transparent process. Vote ‘No’ on 3.

Mahree Skala is a longtime Columbia resident and a community volunteer.

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