Letter to the Editor

The people's vote should stand

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Missouri lawmakers are targeting three measures passed by voters in recent years for modification or repeal. The most talked about issue is the so-called puppy mill bill passed last year.

But puppies, green energy and wages are only part of the issue. The race by lawmakers to nullify the will of the people is a danger sign that should not be ignored by our citizens. Excuses used by lawmakers in order to carry out this travesty are insulting to Missouri voters. They would have us believe that wording in these initiatives was confusing and misleading to voters. This cynical analysis just doesn't fly. The same could well be said of most bills crafted by these same lawmakers. Then there is the claim that because lawmakers were voted into office, they have the right to override ballot initiatives. But until each individual voter has the same influence on these lawmakers as do big special interest groups or rich contributors, our votes on ballet initiatives must be honored. Elected officials should always honor citizens' votes, and only another vote by the people should be allowed to overturn a vote of the people.

Another tragic consequence of this careless behavior by lawmakers is its impact on voter participation. Many people are already cynical about voting, and this behavior by lawmakers only re-enforces the old notion that "my vote doesn't count, they will do what ever they want anyway." Shame on Missouri lawmakers for helping perpetuate this belief.

M.K. MEYER, Jackson