To The Courier-Post:

In Marion County, we’ve always known our state legislators pretty well. They have lived in our community and shared our values. They’re not always perfect and we don’t always agree with them, but at least we know who they are and they listen to us.

In 2018, out-of-state activists poured money into Missouri and put a deceitful constitutional amendment on the ballot. They advertised it as “cleaning up” state government. It had some good reforms, but I was disappointed to learn that it also slipped in a radical, partisan redistricting plan.

The 2018 amendment requires legislative districts to be gerrymandered based on politics. It forces rural areas to be split up and connected to urban and suburban ones with unnatural, snaking districts.

The activists’ true goal wasn’t fairness. It was putting a thumb on the scales for a political party that’s had trouble winning elections in rural Missouri.

Missourians caught on. In November, we can reject partisan redistricting and keep rural representation for rural voices. Amendment 3 will restore bipartisan redistricting and prioritize keeping communities together. It won’t split up counties or towns unless absolutely necessary. It will also restrict lobbyist gifts and campaign donations even more, which I support.

I am voting yes on Amendment 3. I don’t want districts drawn to benefit either political party. I want rural voices for rural people.

Joe Kendrick,

Marion County Farm Bureau president

Palmyra, Mo.

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