“Insane”: The Truly Extreme Gerrymandering Allowed in Fine Print of Amendment 3

The Clean Missouri campaign today released new research and infographics calling attention to the “insane” provisions in Amendment 3 that would explicitly allow the most extreme statehouse partisan gerrymandering the United States.

The politician’s Amendment 3 plan seeks to gut voter-approved reforms, striking language that outlawed partisan gerrymandering and replacing it with mathematical allowances for how far partisan map-drawers can rig the system. How extreme would Amendment 3 allow future plans to be? In the nonpartisan PlanScore.org database of state legislative plans from across the country, no other statehouse plan in their database has been as rigged as what Amendment 3 allows in 40 years — since Mississippi in 1979.

Nationally-recognized redistricting expert Ruth Greenwood evaluated the Amendment 3 plan, and recently called the allowances for partisan gerrymandering in the proposal “insane.”

Here are the facts:

1. Amendment 3 replaces voter-approved rules to be fair to both parties with explicit allowances for just how badly gerrymandered maps can be.

2. In the PlanScore.org database, no statehouse plan in 40 years has been as rigged as what Amendment 3 would allow — since Mississippi in 1979.

3. The maps allowed by Amendment 3 would be truly extreme, in service of the scheme’s true goal: protecting incumbents in the safest districts possible, where voters are unable to hold their legislators accountable.

Amendment 3 was opposed by a bipartisan coalition in both the Senate and House. Overall, it seeks to:

  • Gut or undermine all of the fair map reforms overwhelmingly supported by Missouri voters in the last election;
  • Take away Missourians’ constitutional rights to fair legislative maps;
  • Protect incumbent legislators in safe districts, so voters can’t hold them accountable;
  • Give state political parties new powers to appoint map makers;
  • Explicitly allow political operatives and lobbyists to draw some of the most polarizing district lines in America;  
  • Limit Missourians’ ability to have their day in court if maps are rigged or unfairly target a community or group; and
  • Limit what judges can do if legislative districts break state law requirements.