Redo of Missouri redistricting voter summary final

Associated Press
The Rolla Daily News

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri appeals court panel on Wednesday finalized its rewrite of a summary for voters describing a November ballot measure that would revamp the state's nationally unique model for drawing fair and competitive legislative districts.

At issue is the summary of a proposed constitutional amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot that would repeal parts of a redistricting measure voters approved just two years ago. 

As originally written by the Republican-led Legislature, the ballot summary for Amendment 3 doesn't mention the repeal.

The appeals court on Monday ruled that the original description "fails to acknowledge what SJR 38 would actually do – substantially modify, and reorder, the redistricting criteria approved by voters in the November 2018 general election." 

The state Attorney General's Office was defending the ballot language written by Republican lawmakers. The office didn't appeal the judges' decision to the Missouri Supreme Court. 

The appeals court rewrote the description of the redistricting proposal to explain that it would: "change the redistricting process voters approved in 2018 by transferring responsibility for drawing state legislative districts from the Nonpartisan State Demographer to Governor-appointed bipartisan commissions," as well as change and reorder criteria used to redraw districts. 

The measure is on the Nov. 3 ballot.