This guest blog was written by Jean Dugan, Executive Director League of Women Voters of Missouri.
On November 6, Missouri voters approved Amendment 1 with a 62% majority – demonstrating a commitment and desire to clean up Missouri politics.
Amendment 1 puts power back in the hands of voters by changing the way state legislative districts are drawn and by limiting campaign contributions in a way to make sure everyone has a voice in our government. This bill, which will take effect on December 6, will increase fairness, integrity, and transparency in state politics.
The most talked about section of Amendment 1 was an element that transforms how Missouri’s congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn. Before the passage of the amendment, redistricting in the state was handled by two commissions made up of partisan officials.
However, because of voters' support of the amendment last month, redistricting in Missouri will now be handled by a non-partisan demographer. The demographer will need to consider criteria defined in the amendment. Voter support for this amendment means that redistricting in Missouri will be fair and transparent while reinforcing the power of voters to create a democracy that reflects their values.
The League of Women Voters of Missouri (LWVMO) worked closely with partners at Clean Missouri to ensure that all Missouri voters understood what was at stake on Election Day. We were thankful to have the expertise and great relationship with our partners at Clean Missouri who helped us ensure the passage of Amendment 1. We are proud of all that we accomplished, and, as Benj Singer from Clean Missouri put it, “The League of Women Voters of Missouri played a crucial role in promoting the anti-gerrymandering provisions of Amendment 1. Thanks in big part to the League, Missouri will have more fair and competitive maps that protect minority representation and follow city and county lines when possible.”
We will continue working for voters throughout the state as we ensure Amendment 1 is properly implemented, and hope the success of Amendment 1 may inspire other state’s citizens to take the helm in advancing issues that reflect their own communities.