Amendment 3 by the Numbers: Who Wouldn’t Count

Opposition to the Amendment 3 gerrymandering plan continues to expand across Missouri as voters learn more about the deceptive, deceitful and dirty amendment. Much of the concern and outrage has focused on one particular portion of the proposal: Section 3, which would change who counts in Missouri legislative maps. 

Section 3 of Amendment 3 intends to end the practice of counting all Missourians when drawing state legislative maps — which has been the standard in Missouri since at least 1875 — and instead create maps based only on the number of eligible voters. Such a proposal would mean that more than 1.5 million Missourians would not be counted and would no longer be represented in the General Assembly — and almost all of those excluded would be children. 

The Clean Missouri campaign to defeat Amendment 3 today released a new breakdown on this proposal to illustrate just how radical, discriminatory, and unfair such a redistricting scheme would be. 

If Amendment 3 is fully implemented, more than 1,500,000 Missourians would not be counted for legislative maps 

The most recent Census Bureau population estimates show that of the 6,090,060 current Missourians, 1,504,065 Missourians are not eligible to vote. Almost all of this excluded population are children; 22% of the state’s population are kids aged 0-17 and 2% are non-citizen immigrants. 

If Amendment 3 is fully implemented, 1 out of every 4 Missourians would not count when new districts are drawn, which would have profound implications for how our families and our communities are represented in the State Capitol. 

Not counting everyone would have a disproportionate impact on communities of color 

On average, Black, Latinx and Asian American Missourians are younger than their white counterparts. So if kids aren’t counted, communities of color would be disproportionately impacted and would lose even more representation in the State Capitol. 

All 50 states count everyone in their maps — Missouri has counted everyone since at least the State Constitution of 1875 

Even the national masterminds pushing for this discriminatory gerrymandering scheme admit that their idea would be a “radical departure” from current practice. Amendment 3 would make Missouri the first state to reject this core principle of our democracy — that everyone counts, and everyone in our families and communities should be represented. 

Using the total population for state legislative maps has been the legal standard in Missouri since at least 1875. 

Our constitution currently requires that everyone count in our maps — Amendment 3 would remove that requirement in 3 places 

Politicians pushing Amendment 3 are not always honest about their true intentions, but the text of their proposal and their words on the state senate floor speak for themselves. The sponsor of the resolution that became Amendment 3 was very clear: They want to stop counting everyone in our state legislative maps, and only count eligible voters. 

Every state in America draws maps based on total population, and Missouri has drawn maps based on the total population of the state since at least 1875. If Amendment 3 passes and is fully implemented as SJR38 sponsor Sen. Dan Hegeman articulated, more than 1.5 million Missourians would lose representation — almost all of them children. 

Basing legislative maps on anything other than total population would be discriminatory, as shown in testimony provided to the General Assembly this spring by the Brennan Center for Justice and NAACP. Removing more than 1.5 million Missourians from the population base for state house and state senate districts would have significant and profound consequences for political representation in Missouri, especially for communities with large numbers of children and communities of color which skew younger than their white counterparts.