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Ballot Measure Editorial Roundup

With a number of complicated constitutional amendments this year, it may be hard to figure out the potential impact of each amendment. So we have compiled a resource of editorials from across the state and briefly summarized each amendment to help you decide how to vote.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 2
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that it will be permissible to allow relevant evidence of prior criminal acts to be admissible in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age?

Supporting Editorials: 

  • Star: “Constitutional Amendment 2 is a reasonable and necessary measure to help sexually abused children and put dangerous offenders behind bars.”
  • Post-Dispatch: “Law enforcement authorities say they need more tools to fight child sexual abuse and help put sexual predators behind bars. Amendment 2, which will be on Missouri election ballot Nov. 4, gives prosecutors and law enforcement officers the help they need.”

Opposing Editorials:

  • Columbia Daily Tribune: “Of course we want convictions of parties guilty of child sex abuse, but if constitutions exist primarily to protect the individual against the awesome power of the state, Amendment 2 has no place. I’m torn, but I think we should vote ‘no.’”

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CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 3
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • require teachers to be evaluated by a standards based performance evaluation system for which each local school district must receive state approval to continue receiving state and local funding;
  • require teachers to be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system;
  • require teachers to enter into contracts of three years or fewer with public school districts; and
  • prohibit teachers from organizing or collectively bargaining regarding the design and implementation of the teacher evaluation system?

Opposing Editorials:

  • Star: “Constitutional Amendment 3 was placed on the ballot by a group funded by Rex Sinquefield, the wealthy retired St. Louis investment banker. It would require the state’s public schools to evaluate teacher performance with a system that relies heavily on high-stakes student achievement tests. The change would be costly and drain classrooms of creativity and local accountability. Voters should say NO.”

  • Southeast Missourian: Should public schools have a system of accountability? Yes. Should student achievement be part of this evaluation? Yes. Should it be the entire basis and add burdensome costs to taxpayers? No. We encourage a "no" vote on Amendment 3 as voters go to the polls…”

  • Post-Dispatch: “Vote No on Amendment 3, which is opposed by educators and business leaders throughout the state. It whiffs in every possible way.”

  • News-Leader: “SPS officials argue the requirements of Amendment 3 would take away local control to make our schools the best they can be. Predictably, we agree with the effort to defeat Amendment 3. It's clear there is work to be done to improve our system. SPS administrators are implementing their plan, and we will watch with interest to see the fruits of that plan.”

  • Joplin Globe: “The four bullet points in Amendment 3 are filled with political claptrap and vapid buzzwords from a man who doesn’t like public education.  Rex Sinquefield, a St. Louis billionaire, got the amendment on the ballot through Missouri’s initiative petition process. According to documents from the Missouri Ethics Commission, he gave more than $2.3 million to Teach Great, the political action committee that pushed the measure.”

  • Daily Star-Journal: “St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield paid petitioners to get the names needed to put Amendment 3 on the ballot. But now even Sinquefield’s group has stopped campaigning for this garbage amendment. Constitutional Amendment 3 remains on the ballot and voters would do well to toss the proposal on history’s trash heap Nov. 4.”

  • Columbia Daily Tribune: “The idea of more critical teacher evaluation has merit, but Amendment 3 is no way to do it. We should vote ‘no.’”

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CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 6
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to permit voting in person or by mail for a period of six business days prior to and including the Wednesday before the election day in general elections, but only if the legislature and the governor appropriate and disburse funds to pay for the increased costs of such voting?

Opposing Editorials:

  • Star: “ Missouri is in the dark ages when it comes to early voting. But a measure on the upcoming statewide ballot is not the path to enlightenment. Constitutional Amendment 6 is a craven attempt by the state’s GOP-controlled General Assembly to make it very difficult for citizens to ever have a chance to vote at convenient hours and locations in the run-up to Election Day.”

  • Post-Dispatch: In Missouri this year, there’s a particularly sleazy voter suppression measure on the Nov. 4 ballot. It’s called Amendment 6. It’s disguised as an ‘early voting’ measure, in that it would permit six extra days of voting before Election Day.”

  • Tribune: “The idea of early voting is valid, but Amendment 6 is a faulty approach, actually passed by Republicans in the state legislature to head off a better plan in the process of initiation by advocates of early voting.”

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CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 10
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the governor to pay the public debt, to prohibit the governor from relying on revenue from legislation not yet passed when proposing a budget, and to provide a legislative check on the governor’s decisions to restrict funding for education and other state services?

Opposing Editorials:

  • KC Star: “[M]aking a governor’s ability to hold back spending contingent on legislative approval carries its own risks. Future legislatures could prevent a governor from dealing with a genuine revenue shortfall. Voters should say NO.”

  • Post-Dispatch: “Vote no on Amendment 10. It’s not conservative. It is short-sighted. It’s bad for business. It’s bad for Missouri.”

  • Columbia Daily Tribune: “ Missouri’s current system gives the governor among the most expansive withholding powers in the nation, but the answer is not to give the final say to the legislature. Vote “no” on Amendment 10.”