JEFFERSON CITY — Faith leaders and civil rights advocates warned voters about the deceptive nature and troubling details in the fine print of Amendment 3 in a virtual press event Thursday. Opposition to the deceptive gerrymandering plan is growing rapidly across the state as voters learn the truth about Amendment 3’s extreme agenda.
“We believe Amendment 3 is a moral issue. Maintaining fair and competitive elections isn’t about what is best for republicans or democrats, it is about what is best for Missouri Citizens,” said Rev. W.T. Edmonson assistant minister at Second Baptist Church and board member of Missouri Faith Voices. “Amendment 3 would hurt our democratic process by taking representation away from the people and undoing what voters just did a couple of years ago when we passed fair map reforms.”
Amendment 3 was crafted by politicians to protect incumbents using extra safe legislative districts drawn by lobbyists and operatives. Amendment 3 would eliminate voter-approved nonpartisan redistricting reforms, and then replace them with a redistricting system unlike Missouri — or America — has ever seen.
Politicians have added a $5 change to lobbyist gift limits — with loopholes for some lobbyists — and a $100 change to campaign contribution limits in the hopes of distracting voters from their true intent to enshrine extreme gerrymandering in the state constitution.
“Amendment 3 is not a partisan issue, it is an issue of right and wrong–politicians shouldn’t try to deceive voters with tricky ballot language,” said Rev. John Bennett, retired Disciples of Christ minister. “The people of Missouri just voted two years ago for fair map reforms, politicians should listen to them.”
“Amendment 3 would objectively weaken political power for Black and Brown communities,” Nimrod (Rod) Chapel, Jr., President of Missouri State Conference of the NAACP. “More than 1.5 million people, almost all of them children, would simply not be represented in the legislature. It’s hard to imagine our kids not having a voice where the laws are made, and what kind of an impact would it have if we stopped considering those people.”
To learn more about Amendment 3 and the large bipartisan coalition working to defeat it, visit NOon3Missouri.org.