November 8th Voter Guide
With the November 8th election fast approaching, it is important that we all have a plan to vote. No-Excuse Absentee Voting began on October 25th, so I encourage you to go to the ballot at your earliest convenience! If you’re waiting until Election Day, be sure to know your polling place and ID requirements to ensure your ballot is cast. Don’t forget to check your voter registration status early to avoid any confusion at the polls. The city also provides accessible voting information for voters with disabilities who require accommodations.
Please see my voter guide for the November 8th General Election and don’t forget this as an important part of your Election Day plan!
Constitutional Amendment 1 — No
This measure expands the authority of the Missouri General Assembly to increase the types of investments that the State Treasurer can use to invest state funds and municipal securities.
It removes the requirement for the State Treasurer to gain voter approval in pursuing different investments of Missouri tax dollars and loosens constitutional restrictions that limit investments of the state to the most conservative investments. Expanding the legislature’s power to invest without appropriate checks and balances results in the politicizing of our state investments with partisan interests of the day. I don’t trust the legislature to put prudence before politics. I support a “NO” vote on Amendment 1.
Constitutional Amendment 3 — Yes
This amendment does a lot of things, more of them good than bad. It establishes the terms of recreational possession, sale, and use of marijuana for adults over 21 in their homes. It automatically removes most nonviolent, past marijuana offenses from people’s records. It sets maximum possible punishments for marijuana offenses and allows local municipalities, like the City of St. Louis, to determine policing and penalties of these behaviors. And it expands current medical marijuana law regarding marijuana cultivation. This measure does not fully decriminalize public consumption of marijuana. And it does not create any real opportunities to expand the pool of sellers or cultivators. Decriminalization is good public policy. Capturing a share of taxes generated by sale of recreational marijuana is good fiscal policy. Not trusting the General Assembly to pass a better law in the next two years is simple prudence. I support a “YES” vote on Amendment 3.
Constitutional Amendment 4 — No
Amendment 4 would amend the state constitution to allow the State Legislature to require a City to increase funding for police without state reimbursement for a police force established by state board. This amendment is specifically targeting Kansas City, whose police department is under control of a state board. Under Amendment 4, Kansas City would lose local control over how they allocate their public safety resources and would require the City to spend a minimum of 25% of their annual budget on their police department (they currently spend 20%) without the State of Missouri providing additional resources to dedicate toward this increased expenditure. Therefore, this Amendment is not onl taking away local control, it is also creating an unfunded mandate. I support Kansas City retaining autonomy over their public safety resources and support a “NO” vote on Amendment 4.
Constitutional Amendment 5 — No
This amendment would create the “Missouri Department of the National Guard” as a separate department within the state’s government and give its own funding line in the state budget. The state National Guard’s mission is important. We’ve seen the Guard in St. Louis several times in the past few years, including its deployment in Ferguson and the city in 2014, at regional command centers during flooding in 2015 and 2016, and in the city again in 2021 to administer COVID vaccinations. The Guard is currently a component of the state Department of Public Safety. That’s probably where it belongs. I’m suspicious of a state-funded militia having its own department. In the City, for example, we correctly put the police department into the Public Safety Department. I support a “NO” vote on Amendment 5.
Constitutional Convention — No
This is an automatic referendum item that appears on our ballot every 20 years. It asks whether we want Missouri to hold a constitutional convention, with the power to write an entirely new constitution or a series of new amendments, with the only guardrails being a majority of the 83 delegates must approve any change and any change can’t violate the US Constitution. The last time voters were asked about a convention, only 35 percent said yes. I agree that we need a new state constitution: the 1945 constitution is a mess. I’d like to vote yes to register my dissatisfaction with the current document, but I am positive that any document written right now would be even worse than the one we have. I support a “NO” vote on the constitutional convention.
On November 8th, many Missouri judges will be on the ballot to retain their appointments. I encourage you to read more about Missouri’s nonpartisan court plan that establishes our process for judge selection and confirmation. Please reference the Missouri Bar Association’s performance review to learn more about the judges and make informed decisions on Election Day.