Letter to the Editor

Vote 'no' on Amendment 1

Friday, October 19, 2018

Missourians will review many measures on the Nov. 6 ballot and one of the easiest decisions is No on Amendment 1. While proponents claim it is a "cure" for what's wrong with politics, it will actually make politics worse by injecting raw partisanship into our non-partisan redistricting process.

On the surface, Amendment 1 may appear to be an "ethics" measure, but 70 percent of it is about gerrymandering, not ethics. Its political backers call it "Clean Missouri." But Amendment 1 actually is a wolf in sheep's clothing worthy of the name "Fleece Missouri." It's a radical redistricting of our state hiding behind feel-good ethics reform.

If we move from the current non-partisan redistricting standards of compact and contiguous districts to Amendment 1's 50-50 mandate, gerrymandering would be enshrined in our constitution creating long, spaghetti-like districts drawn from the more urban areas of Missouri into the suburbs and, in some cases, into the surrounding rural areas. The effect would geographically marginalize certain areas of our state.

This cynical attempt to trick Missouri voters into supporting gerrymandering by placing it inside a measure supposedly about "ethics" should tell Missourians everything they need to know. Changes to Missouri's Constitution should not be made lightly. We encourage Missourians to vote No on Amendment 1.

DAN MEHAN, president/CEO, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jefferson City, Missouri