Kansas City Star: Politicians to “appeal judge’s ruling rewriting redistricting ballot measure”

…lawmakers voted earlier this year to place a new amendment on the November ballot that repeals the voter-approved method and replaces it with a system similar to the old system, where partisan commissions drew the maps.

Originally published in The Kansas City Star.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is planning to appeal a Cole County judge’s Monday ruling that ballot language written by Republican lawmakers to repeal voter-approved redistricting changes was unfair and misleading.

Schmitt’s office filed a notice of appeal on Tuesday, one day after Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce rewrote the summary that will appear on the November ballot for the proposed redistricting constitutional amendment.

The case now heads to the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District.

The attorney general’s spokesman declined comment.

At issue is a Republican effort to undo “Clean Missouri, a constitutional amendment passed by voters to overhaul the way state legislative districts will be drawn following the 2020 census. It created a system where a nonpartisan state demographer draws maps with partisan competitiveness as a goal.

GOP lawmakers voted earlier this year to place a new amendment on the November ballot that repeals the voter-approved method and replaces it with a system similar to the old system, where partisan commissions drew the maps.

Joyce ruled on Monday, however, that the ballot summary lawmakers crafted was misleading. She noted that instead of redistricting, the summary emphasized other provisions, such as reducing lobbyist gifts. The summary also failed to inform Missourians the amendment would repeal what was previously approved in 2018 by more than 60 percent of voters.