Missouri House continues assault on majority rule

Tuesday, March 12, 2024
Contact: liz@progressmo.org

Missourians are standing up to protect the essential principle of ‘one person, one vote’

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As the House begins debate on SJR74 – the resolution that would upend the initiative petition process as Missourians have known it – Missourians across the state are pushing back on attempts to undermine majority rule.

“I am dismayed that politicians in Jefferson City are attacking our deepest held democratic ideals by aggressively pushing forward changes to the initiative petition process despite overwhelming opposition to these changes voiced by Missourians like me,” said Beth Franklin, a U.S. Army veteran and Missouri native from Plattsburg. “SJR74 and initiatives like it could allow a small fraction of Missourians to overrule what the majority wants, ending 100 years of majority rule in Missouri. Politicians are intentionally tricking us into giving our rights away!”

During the past several weeks, a bipartisan coalition of thousands of Missourians have voiced their opposition to attacks on the initiative petition process, many pointing out that the process already in place gives Missourians the power to make decisions about policies that impact them and their families.

“I believe that any attempts to compromise majority rule in initiative petitions should be turned down,” said John Nekola, a horticulturist from St. Louis who collected signatures for an initiative petition in the 1980s. “Advocates from any point of view could be restricted from participation in the referendum process by requiring a supermajority. By allowing the voters to decide an issue that may not come up in the legislature, the initiative process is a vital part of democracy.”

The initiative petition process gives Missourians the power to make decisions about issues that will impact them and their families. These proposed changes purposely make it harder for Missourians to have their voices heard.

“The League of Women Voters believes responsible government should be responsive to the will of the people,” said Marilyn McLeod, President of the League of Women Voters of Missouri. “The citizen initiative petition is the most direct form of voter participation in our democracy. This valuable and trusted process has been enshrined in the Missouri Constitution for more than 100 years and has been used for both conservative and progressive issues. It is already a complicated and difficult process. Therefore, the League of Women Voters of Missouri opposes any attempts to make it more difficult to get a measure on the ballot or to raise the threshold for approval.”

Progress Missouri is urging Missourians to let their legislator know they oppose these efforts to trick Missourians into giving their rights away.