Missouri voters approved to pass Amendment 3 by roughly 51% Nov. 3. What this means for Missouri voters, according to ballot language, is that the drawing of districts return to bipartisan commissions, bans gifts from lobbyists and lowers amounts made to campaign contributions. Political leaders on campus explain what this means for Republicans and Democrats in the state of Missouri.
According to ballotpedia.org, in 2018, about 62% of Missouri voters passed Amendment 1, also known as “Clean Missouri,” which lowered the price of gifts from lobbyists to legislators to $5 or less and limited campaign contributions for state senators to $2,000 and state representatives to $2,500. Amendment 1 also changed redistricting so that a nonpartisan party drew the lines for districts.
Missourians voted on similar topics Nov. 3, reversing what they voted for in 2018 regarding redistricting guidelines.
Northwest College Republicans President Jasper Logan said the changes made to the redrawing of district lines in Missouri include moving the power of drawing the lines from a nonpartisan party to a bipartisan committee of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
“All viewpoints will have equal representation,” Logan said.
According to ballotpedia.org, Gov. Mike Parson appoints the committee for redistricting.
According to legislation copy for Amendment 3, redistricting has guidelines to address population in districts when the lines are redrawn, including a limit as to how much of a population is drawn into each district.
This section explains when drawing up districts, the population in that district should not deviate from roughly 1% of the population that was appropriated in the past, but can deviate up to 3% if necessary.
College Democrats President Tyler Bears said he voted “no” on Amendment 3.
“It’s a political ploy essentially. … It gives republicans a lot of control,” Bears said.
He explained that it is going to be a lot harder for Democrats to win because of the bipartisan redistricting rules.
Logan said when he saw Amendment 3 passed, he was very surprised.
He noted that on Oct. 17 he saw a poll had been put out by Remington Research that showed that Amendment 3 had only 28% support from Missouri voters.
“That was a big surprise,” Logan said. “The other side had a thousand times more money than we did. … I don’t think anybody thought we could pull this off.”
Bears said he spoke to several College Democrats who said that they voted “yes” on Amendment 3 but did not fully understand it.
Bears explained that when he saw Amendment 3 had passed, he was disappointed because of the struggle Democrats will face when trying to compete with Republicans in Missouri to get anything done for their ideologies.
“I think it was a lack of warning about exactly what Amendment 3 was,” Bears said.
Bears attributed this “lack of warning” as part of the reason Amendment 3 passed.
Logan had also mentioned in a previous Northwest Missourian article that if Amendment 3 did not pass, it could lead to Maryville being redistricted into the same district as St. Joseph, Missouri, or even Kansas City, Missouri.
Logan explained if Maryville were redistricted in with larger communities like St. Joseph or Kansas City, then Maryville would have representatives that are not familiar with Maryville and other rural communities' needs.
“I think this is a very good thing for our state,” Logan said. “It’s going to protect rural representation especially, but also local representation all over the state.”
Bears thought the opposite of Logan about the new redistricting process.
“It’s essentially gerrymandering, but on steroids for Missouri,” Bears said.
Bears said that Amendment 3 will allow incumbents to maintain their seats in office and give lobbyists more power in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Missouri First District Rep. Allen Andrews, R-Mo., and Missouri Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Mo., who both supported Amendment 3, were contacted, but neither responded before publication.