In November 2018 voters passed Proposition 1 by 62%, which was the Clean Missouri bill, to amend the state constitution.

At the crux of the bill was gerrymandering. The past system had very partisan legislators to draw legislative districts. These districts usually favored those in power with little regard to representative government. The system was replaced with a nonpartisan demographer: a qualified individual that will have the expertise to align the people with the district.

Here comes the problem. The state legislators, in their greater wisdom, decided that the voters didn’t know what they were voting for. With SB38, they issued a bill to overturn the constitutional amendment the voters had just approved, which gives you Amendment 3.

Groups opposing the change took them to the circuit court and Missouri Western District Court and won both times. They were forced into writing clear ballot language for this amendment.

On Nov. 3 you will be voting to have a nonpartisan demographer to draw up district lines. All Missourians will be counted in their legislative districts. To keep the amendment you have already approved, vote “No” on Amendment 3. This could be the model for the country.

Paul Smith of Columbia is a retired agronomist.


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