St. Louis American – Vote no on Amendment 3 on Nov. 3

St. Louis American

The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west; this is true at all times and in all places. There is an absolute political truth that has the same degree of metaphysical certainty. If you are Black and live in America, any proposition proposed by right-wing Republicans is detrimental to the interest of the Black community. Period. Full stop.

You don’t have to know anything else about it, just that it’s their idea. That’s enough to guarantee you need to be against it. Because, just as you’re certain, without looking, that the sun rises in the east, you can be equally certain that it’s a bad idea for you.

Amendment 3 to the Missouri Constitution on the November 3 ballot falls into this category. It was proposed by right-wing Missouri Republicans – to overturn a citizen ballot initiative passed with overwhelming statewide approval – and that means we need to vote against it.

But The St. Louis American believes that we have a responsibility to educate and inform our readers on important issues. That being said, the fact that Amendment 3 is a bad idea, proposed by even worse people, while true, is insufficient for voters who are the informed readers of The American. So, what is Amendment 3 trying to do?

Amendment 3 is a proposal sponsored by Missouri’s right-wing Republican Party to overturn the constitutional election reform amendment that Missouri voters passed by a 2 to 1 margin in November 2018. That margin means that even many people who voted Republican – who voted into office the people pushing this amendment and agendas like it – voted to pass the reforms that Amendment 3 would undo. The November 2018 initiative passed overwhelmingly with 1.4 million votes, earning support from Independents, Democrats, and Republicans across the state. Amazingly, it received the majority vote in every state Senate district

The November 2018 initiative, popularly known as Clean Missouri, was a lobbying, campaign finance and redistricting initiative that was designed to provide major reform and oversight to Missouri politics. The most important element of the initiative was redistricting reform. It changed the process for how Missouri legislative districts are to be redrawn after every census. It created a less partisan process, using more objective criteria that reduces the ability of right-wing Republicans to gerrymander the legislature to their advantage.

Among other changes, Amendment 3 on the November 3 ballot would eliminate the requirement that state legislative maps be drawn based on total population, meaning that 1.5 million Missourians — almost all of them children — would be uncounted and unrepresented. It also would undo the new requirement that voting districts be drawn by an independent state demographer, rather than Republican Party insiders. In addition, Missouri citizens could not challenge gerrymandering in federal court, as did the citizens of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. We need to come together to protect everyone’s right to vote, especially those who have long been sidelined by a racist, corrupt system that suppresses voting rights and prevents a truly representative government.

“Amendment 3 is a dangerous new scheme that would eliminate the independence and transparency added to the state constitution by voters, give state political parties new powers to rig maps, and take away our rights to challenge unfair maps in court,” business leader and policy advocate Maxine Clark argued here in a letter to the editor.

“Worse still, Amendment 3 is not what it appears to be. In fact, while the plan includes minor campaign finance reforms so that it could be promoted as a ‘reform’ bill, the amendment would replace the voter-approved reforms with some of the worst gerrymandering policies in the country. These tactics are utterly deceitful and dishonest.”

This is why Republicans are pushing Amendment 3. It’s their attempt to overturn the will of Missouri voters so they can reclaim their partisan advantage and continue to push their repressive agenda. The American strongly recommends a vote of NO ON AMENDMENT 3.