On Wednesday, Carl Bearden, CEO of United for Missouri, released new polling that shows strong support for redistricting reform amongst Missouri voters.
“My organization believes fixing redistricting reform should be a top priority this year. The redistricting process as passed by Amendment 1 is gerrymandering on steroids and will have long-term negative effects on the state. Thankfully, we are not alone. The poll shows very strong support for the process to be fixed. 72.4 percent of those surveyed believe redistricting should be done by a bipartisan commission as opposed to an unelected bureaucrat,” said Bearden.
Voters recently approved changes to the way state House and Senate seats will be drawn in the future in a ballot measure that gives an overwhelming amount of power to a new position called the state demographer while taking power away from a bipartisan citizen’s commission. It is believed that voters were primarily focused on voting for other portions of the initiative including ethics reforms like the limiting of lobbyist gifts.
United for Missouri wants to keep the ethics reforms in place. In fact, it wants to impose an outright ban on lobbyist gifts but restore the power of redistricting decisions to a fairly selected bipartisan citizen’s commission replacing the unelected position of state demographer.
“It is not the place of an unelected bureaucrat to draw the lines of legislative districts. That authority should rest in the people alone. We believe in restoring the democratic process of redistricting and so do 72 percent of Missouri voters,” said Bearden.
United for Missouri has recently crafted model language for the legislature to review. It anticipates that a bill will be filed very soon. This is a top organizational priority and United for Missouri expects to be fully engaged in advocating for policy-makers to tackle this issue.