Jefferson City — Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia S. Joyce today struck down dishonest and deceptive ballot summary language crafted by politicians for their Amendment 3 gerrymandering scheme, ruling it to be “misleading, unfair, and insufficient.”
Today’s judgment may be found at www.cleanmissouri.org/ruling.
The ballot language written by politicians for Amendment 3 was full of objective falsehoods and misleading language designed to trick voters and hide the true intention of the measure — to overturn voter-approved redistricting reforms, and install a new gerrymandering plan in the state constitution that would allow lobbyists and political operatives to draw maps designed to protect incumbents.
“[A] summary statement may not falsely inform voters a ballot measure will do something it will not,” wrote Judge Joyce, and “the summary [may not] suggest a measure will change the law when it will not.”
In today’s ruling, Judge Joyce vacated the deceptive ballot summary crafted by politicians for Amendment 3 and ordered that it be replaced with fair and accurate information about the proposal. The full ballot title for Amendment 3 will now read:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
- Repeal rules for drawing state legislative districts approved by voters in November 2018 and replace them with rules proposed by the legislature;
- Lower the campaign contribution limit for senate candidates by $100; and
- Lower legislative gift limit from $5 to $0, with exemptions for some lobbyists?
State governmental entities expect no cost or savings. Individual local governmental entities expect significant decreased revenues of a total unknown amount.
“Politicians may lie to our faces about what they’re trying to do with Amendment 3, but they can’t lie in what appears on the ballot,” said Sean Soendker Nicholson, Campaign Director for the No on Amendment 3 campaign. “Everyone needs to understand that politicians are trying to trick voters by hiding a deceptive gerrymandering plan in the state constitution. The whole goal of their plan is to protect incumbent politicians in rigged maps drawn in back rooms by lobbyists and political operatives.”
A full copy of today’s ruling may be found at www.cleanmissouri.org/ruling.