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Harry Trickey

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

I am writing in opposition of Amendment #3.

That Amendment intends to nullify the Clean Missouri Amendment which we overwhelmingly passed with 62 percent of the vote in 2018.

The Clean Missouri Amendment appoints a state demographer to calculate the size and dimensions of state and federal legislative districts. It requires the state demographer to consider specific criteria including: fairness and competitiveness, contiguousness and compactness, and that the boundaries follow political subdivisions. The demographer's maps would be submitted to a commission of Senate and House legislators who would adopt or reject the demographer's report requiring a 70 percent vote to modify.

The present system of drawing districts invited extreme gerrymandering as demonstrated by the numbers of Republican vs. Democratic representatives in both the state and national house delegations.

For a base line let us look at the outcomes for state wide U.S. Senate races in the last two elections:

In the 2018 U.S. Senate race Josh Hawley (R) got 51 percent and Claire McCaskill (D), 46 percent.

In the 2016 U.S. Senate race Roy Blunt (R) got 49 percent and Jason Kander (D) 46 percent.

These two races clearly illustrate that the state's political population is divided almost evenly between Democrats and Republicans.

However, when we examine the distribution of seats in the state and federal legislative chambers that are allocated by population and geography, we find there is an imbalance between the two parties.

The U.S. House of Representatives delegation has six Republicans and two Democrats, which is 75 percent Republican.

In the state House of Representatives there are 113 Republicans and 48 Democrats, which is 70+ percent Republican.

In the state Senate the same pattern holds with 23 Republicans and eight Democrats, which is 74 percent Republican.

The Republicans dominate with over 70 percent of all seats available.

The obvious conclusion can only be that Missouri's state and federal legislative districts are heavily gerrymandered to give the Republicans an overwhelming advantage.

Missouri voters should vote "no" against Amendment #3 to ensure that every Missouri citizen is equally represented in the United States House of Representatives and the Missouri House and Senate.

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