Missouri Amendments for November 3, 2020 Election
This year, Missourians will have two constitutional amendments on the ballot for the November 3, 2020 election. I breakdown the good and bad below. Happy voting!
- Voting yes will change the Missouri Constitution to eliminate the nonpartisan state demographer and replace it with a governor appointed bipartisan commission. It will also change the criteria for drawing district maps and change the lobbying gifts and lower the state campaign contribution limits.
- Voting no will maintain the current legislation, voted in place by Missourians in 2018, which dictates the use of a nonpartisan state demographer for legislative redistricting and keeps the current criteria for legislative districts and current campaign finance and lobbying limits.
On first blush of the ballot language, this amendment seems great – ban gifts from lobbyists and reduce legislative campaign contributions. When digging in further, however, several red flags appear. The lobbyist gifts only get reduced by $5 – from $5 to $0 and the campaign contributions limits only get reduced by $100, from $2,500 to $2,400. So no real substantive changes. What do we give up in exchange for these modest decreases? It turns out, quite a lot. Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved the nonpartisan redistricting plan back in 2018. The legislators did not like what we chose and are trying a different and misleading attempt to overturn the will of the voters. This can have very dangerous consequences. We vote in our elected officials to represent us and, when we speak, we certainly expect our elected officials to listen to their constituents. The proponents for this Amendment can be found here. There are many opponents of this Amendment who say (correctly) this is just gerrymandering. You do not go from nonpartisan to bipartisan without leaving room for partisanship. The summary language was taken to court because of its extremely misleading nature. The trial court judge agreed it was misleading, but an appellate court allowed it to stand.
I typically try to remain neutral but this one is a very clear attempt at thwarting what Missourians already voted on for illusory gains. I plan on voting “no” on Constitutional Amendment 3.
This has to do with whether to put term limits to other executive offices in Missouri. Currently, the Governor and Treasurer are limited to two terms. This would extend to the Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor and the Attorney General. There does not appear to be strong support or opposition one way or the other on this issue, other than the senator who proposed the amendment and another senator in opposition. Personally, I like term limits for politicians because it infuses fresh ideas and avoids someone staying in office too long as a career politician (see generally the dysfunction in Washington, D.C.).
Full text: Do you want to amend the Missouri Constitution to extend the two term restriction that currently applies to the Governor and Treasurer to the Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor and the Attorney General? State and local governmental entities estimate no costs or savings from this proposal.
Voting Information Generally
Tarun B. Rana, Esq.
Rana Law Group
655 Craig Road, Suite 252
St. Louis, MO 63141