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Missouri voters overturn ‘Clean Missouri,’ passing Amendment 3 by narrow margin

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 5:27 PM CST
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - Just two years ago, nearly 570,000 more people voted to pass Amendment 1 -- known as Clean Missouri. That was 62-percent of the vote. This year, Amendment 3, which will undo Clean Missouri, passed with nearly 59,000 more votes -- a much more narrow win.

Nick Beatty, a political science professor at Missouri State, believes there is a reason why.

“I think a lot of it had to do with the ballot language, how they worded the issue on the ballot," Beatty said.

An appeals court wrote the ballot summary, putting three bullet points for the amendment.

The first bullet point read that if passed, Amendment Three would ban gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers. That was only a reduction of $5.

Then there was a campaign contributions bullet.

The bigger issue, Beatty said, was listed third.

“The issue with regards to redrawing district boundaries was kind of buried in the ballot language, so I think the average voter just didn’t know what Amendment 3 was actually going to do," Beatty said.

Under Clean Missouri, redistricting was in the hands of a a non-partisan map drawer appointed by the State Senate.Now, redistricting will be done by a bi-partisan commission, appointed by the Governor, and appeals judges could have a final say.

Opponents believe that could lead to gerrymandering.

“Its going to be politics involved when it comes to how they draw these district boundaries," Beatty said.

Beatty said Amendment 3 will also affect how local governments get funding. Children younger than 18, those on probation and parole, will not be counted in the population.

“Think about smaller communities. They’re going to get less money because their kids, people under 18 are not going to be counted," Beatty said. "So, less people, less money going to those local governments.”

The opposition campaign to Amendment 3 has conceded the race.

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