Bipartisan group of leaders stand with citizens in challenge to dishonest Amendment 3 ballot language

A bipartisan group of esteemed former legislators filed an amicus brief this week in support of a citizens’ challenge to dishonest ballot language approved by the General Assembly this May for the Amendment 3 gerrymandering plan. The brief comes ahead of a Friday hearing before the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals regarding the legislature’s deceptive ballot language.

Signers of the brief include: 

  • Former United States Senator John Danforth
  • Former United States Senator Claire McCaskill 
  • Former Missouri Senator Joan Bray
  • Former Missouri Senator Bob Johnson
  • Former Missouri Senator Marvin Singleton
  • Former Missouri Representative Jay Barnes
  • Former Missouri Representative Tishaura Jones 
  • Former Missouri Representative Rebecca McClanahan

The brief, which can be found below, asks the court to affirm a court ruling that struck and rewrote misleading ballot language designed to hide the true intent of Amendment 3. Simply put:

“Voters need to know if they are being asked to change a decision they just made in the last election. They need to know if they are being asked to approve a redistricting process that would render elections less fair and less competitive.” 

The filing from the esteemed lawmakers reminds the court that voters have already delivered an overwhelming mandate for fair maps and a fair redistricting process:

“Understanding that voters do not want to go backwards, the General Assembly drafted a summary statement for the November ballot that would describe the proposed amendment—Amendment 3— in false, misleading, and insufficient terms. Under any standard, its summary statement was unacceptable and the circuit court properly rejected it.”

The brief also calls attention to who will benefit if Amendment 3 passes — incumbent politicians, not the people. 

“[L]egislators are direct beneficiaries of the proposed amendment because it gives them and political party officials more control over the redistricting process and alters the State’s redistricting criteria to redefine and minimize the importance of partisan fairness and competitiveness.”

Read the full amicus brief from bipartisan leaders below.