Letter: Respect the voters’ will, quit attacking Clean Missouri

Letter: Respect the voters’ will, quit attacking Clean Missouri

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Redrawing America Missouri

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2018 file photo, supporters of Missouri's redistricting ballot measure hold signs behind former state Sen. Bob Johnson as he serves as their spokesman during a press conference outside the Cole County Courthouse in Jefferson City, Mo. Voters approved Constitutional Amendment 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot. It is unique among redistricting reforms adopted by a number of states in recent years because it requires Missouri's state legislative districts to be drawn using a new mathematical formula to try to achieve "partisan fairness" and "competitiveness" after the 2020 Census. (AP Photo/David A. Lieb, File)

Repealing Missouri’s new redistricting system should not be on the 2020 legislative agenda, much less a priority (“Clock is ticking for Republicans eyeing repeal of Missouri’s new redistricting system,” Dec. 2).

In 2018 voters across the state approved Amendment 1, known as Clean Missouri, that featured an improved way of drawing district maps. Rep. Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, says he and other opponents of Clean Missouri wouldn’t “be overturning the will of the voters” if they put redistricting back on the ballot. In fact, the Missouri Legislature has a worrisome record of overturning Missouri voters on multiple issues, including puppy mills and casino tax revenue for education.

After the 2010 Census, it took two years to win court approval for new maps for Missouri’s House and Senate districts that were drawn behind closed doors to protect incumbents and their parties. About 90% of races under the current maps have not been competitive.

Amendment 1 is designed to ensure that neither party gets an unfair advantage when maps are drawn and makes racial fairness central to the process. Legislative leaders from both parties will have a role in selecting an independent demographer to draw maps that will then be reviewed by a citizen commission that must hold public hearings. That’s what 62% of voters supported.

The purpose of redistricting after each census is to guarantee fair and equal access to the political process for all citizens. We believe in good government and equal voting rights for all. Legislators should have more respect for Missouri voters.

Evelyn Maddox • Kansas City

President, League of Women Voters of Missouri

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