To The Editor:
Amendment 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot has six key parts working to limit campaign contributions, affect lobbyists’ influence, allow open legislative record, and determine fair districting.
An Oct. 3 letter from Mary Lee Kliethermes mentions only one part. I would like to respectfully clarify her concern.
Amendment 1 came from a grassroots effort from Missouri citizens, voters who are displeased with money in politics, present districting and the dominating role(s) of lobbyists in Jefferson City. Petitions to get Clean Missouri, its name while petitions were being circulated across the state, on the ballot were signed by voters in all 114 Missouri counties, so every state House and state Senate district is represented.
It is the most supported item on November’s ballot, with endorsements included from Sen. Danforth, Jobs with Justice, and the League of Women Voters.
Mary Kliethermes’ letter states that the amendment’s language bundles together several different issues into a single ballot item. The recent court decision to keep Amendment 1 on the ballot stated all six parts fall under the Missouri Constitution’s section regulating the Legislature.
A second legal filing to keep it off the ballot was thrown out. To be sure, Amendment 1 does have many parts. This is unusual, not illegal.
After the 2020 census, Missouri House and Senate districts will be reconfigured. This happens every time the U.S. Census updates population data. This realignment task should not be in legislators’ hands. In the redistricting part of Amendment 1, the goal is to have fair representation for all. This is something all citizens should want, a government that represents the people equitably. The current maps do not allow for this.
In some places in Missouri, small towns are split three ways, into three House districts. Borders are contorted in odd ways. Amendment 1 seeks a better way to determine fair boundaries. This is something all candidates should want as well. A candidate who does not want fair representation – and, by extension, fair elections – should not be in office.
All voters should spend some time learning about the many issues on this November’s ballot. To read the ballot language, voters can go to www.sos.mo.gov. A good source to learn about candidates is Vote411.org (information available after Oct. 13).