RELEASE: Politicians Want To Rig The Rules To End Majority Rule In Missouri

Jefferson City, MO, state capitol building

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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

COLUMBIA, Mo. – On the precipice of the first hearing to dismantle democracy as Missourians have known it for over 100 years, concerned Missourians are pushing back on attempts to undermine the initiative petition process.

By changing the rules for constitutional amendments, politicians want to change the rules so that a small minority of Missourians can veto any statewide proposal.

“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.

Dozens of bills have been filed this session that would chip away at the initiative petition process; the House Elections and Elected Officials Committee is scheduled to take up multiple bills at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, in House Hearing Room 6. Missourians from across the state are planning to attend to voice their opposition to the proposal.

The initiative petition process gives Missourians the power to make decisions about politics that will impact them and their families. Within the past decade alone, the process has been used for things such as changing state law to expand health care access; protecting citizens from unreasonable search and seizure of electronic records; and ensuring the right of Missourians and pray and worship on public property. These proposed changes make it harder for Missourians to have their voices heard.

“The initiative petition process allows Missourians to participate directly in our democracy,” said Liz McCune, Executive Director of Progress Missouri. “When out-of-touch politicians in Jeff City ignore what voters and their families want, Missourians can take a stand and push for change directly. The process is an integral part of Missouri’s democracy.”