Missouri voters reject early voting and teacher evaluation amendments

Missouri voters reject early voting and teacher evaluation amendments

Tuesday, Nov. 4, voters were presented with four potential constitutional amendments.  Amendment 2 covered new policies for criminal trials, Amendment 3 proposed new teacher evaluation processes, Amendment 6 addressed election regulations and Amendment 10 referred to government finance budgetary procedure regulations (Missouri Secretary of State Office).  Amendments two, six and ten were legislatively-referred constitutional amendments, while Amendment Three was an initiated constitutional amendment.  As legislatively-referred amendments, newly suggested legislation is put before the constituency after being confirmed ready for voter evaluation.  Initiated constitutional amendments are presented by voters by means of petition requiring a signing count based on the number of residents who voted for the governor of that state.

Amendment 2, a measure concerning addition of evidence in criminal cases concerning sexual crimes against minors, was affirmed by 71 percent of voters.  The legislation allows for prosecutors to submit evidence concerning past criminal acts that are deemed relevant to the court case.  Evidential submissions such as these are designed to imply that a person who has committed an offense of some kind in the past would be more likely to commit a subsequent offense.

Amendment 3 was rejected on Nov. 4 by over 50 percent following several months of intense argumentation concerning the amendment’s merits. It was initially proposed by the “Teach Great” campaign in an attempt to quantify teacher qualifications based on academic growth of students and limit teacher contracts to three-year periods in order to ensure regular evaluation of teaching performance.  The “Teach Great” campaign, headed by the Children’s Education Council of Missouri, made the decision to withdraw support for this initiative in early September after seeing less-than-expected levels of support for the legislation.

Rejected by roughly 40 percent, Amendment 6 attempted to reform voting regulations to allow for early voting in the six days preceding the election.  The measure was proposed in the Missouri Legislature by Republican Representative Tony Dugger argued that this would provide a chance for those working to vote during the normal open voting hours or those with other limitations.

Amendment 10 passed by a relatively close vote of 57 supporting and 43 rejecting.  The amendment is designed to prevent the governor from utilizing estimations of available government funds in budget recommendations to the Missouri legislature, while allowing him or her to speculate concerning projected surplus.

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