The best means of making the General Assembly in Missouri an ideal “Representative Assembly”, as described by Adams, is to allow every voter in Missouri to cast ranked choice votes for the candidates for the General Assembly whom they believe “think, feel, reason, and act" most like them, with the top choice of each voters among the candidates elected to the General Assembly acting as that voter's representative and with members of the General Assembly having weighted votes based on the number of voters who have selected them as their representative.
The idea that governments derive their "just powers" from the "consent of the governed" is among the "self-evident Truths" included in the Declaration of Independence. There is no indication about how that consent is to be given included in the Declaration of Independence, but making the General Assembly "an exact Portrait, in Miniature" of the voters in Missouri, with "equal interests among the People" having "equal representation in the General Assembly, would represent a vast improvement over our present system.
Ten representatives and three senators would be elected from each congressional district in Missouri. Voters would be able to cast write-in votes for candidates from other congressional districts and those votes would be added to the cumulative vote total of those candidates if they are elected by the voters of their own congressional district but would not be counted to determine the winners in each district.
The three candidates who receive the most cumulative votes in each congressional district would serve in the Missouri Senate (provided they meet the age requirement for senators). The ten candidates receiving the next highest cumulative vote totals would serve in the Missouri House. And the three candidates receiving the next highest cumulative vote totals would serve as alternates in the event that any member of the General Assembly from that congressional district dies, resigns, or is removed from office.
This proposal would reduce the size of the Missouri Senate from 34 senators to 24 and the number of representatives from 163 to 80. The State Auditor estimates that educing the size of the General Assembly from 197 to 104 would save taxpayers in Missouri $8.8 millions per year, while giving voters more candidates from which to choose and ensuring that all voters are represented. (The size of the General Assembly would increase or decrease in the future if Missouri gains or loses a seat in the U. S. House of Representatives as a result of the census.)
With ranked choice voting there is no need for primary elections and the provision for alternates would eliminate the need for special elections. Eliminating primary and special elections would save taxpayers even more money.
A petition to put an amendment for Representation for All on the ballot in Missouri in 2022 has been approved for circulation. If the required number of signatures are obtained and submitted by May 8, 2022, this proposal will be on the ballot in Missouri on November 8, 2022. If approved by a majority of voters, it will take effect 30 days later.
You can view a copy of the petition at the website for the Missouri Secretary of State. This is the official text of the petition, with sections of the current Constitution that are to be deleted shown in brackets and the text being added underlined.
This is the official ballot language drafted by the Missouri Secretary of State:
Do you want to amend the Missouri Constitution regarding state legislators as follows:
The General Assembly is estimated to have approximately $750,000 in one-time costs and $8.8 million in annual savings. State and local governments could insure significant election-related costs of $48,000 to $38 million in one-time costs, and ongoing costs of at least $15,000 annually and at least $21,000 for each general election.
This is the text of Article III of the Missouri Constitution as it would be as revised by the Representation for All Amendment:
Section 3. The house of representatives shall consist of ten members from each congressional district, elected at each general election as provided in section 7 of this article.
Section 4. Each representative shall be twenty-four years of age, and next before the day of his election shall have been a qualified voter and a resident of the district which she or he is chosen to represent for one year, if such district shall have been so long established, and if not, then of the district from which the same shall have been taken.
Section 5. With the exception of the number of senators and the length of term of senators elected to serve in the One-hundred-and-third General Assembly as provided for in Article III, Section 11, the senate shall consist of three members from each congressional district elected by the qualified voters of the state of Missouri for a term of two years.
Section 6. Each senator shall be thirty years of age, and next before the day of her or his election shall have been a qualified voter of the state for three years and a resident of the district which she or he is chosen to represent for one year, if such district shall have been so long established, and if not, then of the district or districts from which the same shall have been taken.
(a) Beginning with the election of senators and representatives to be held in the year two thousand and twenty-four there will be no primary election for those offices. For the general election, all candidates who file to run and are qualified to run, for the General Assembly will be listed on the ballot in the congressional district in which they reside, grouped by political party affiliation. Independent candidates will be grouped together on the ballot.
(b) General elections shall be carried out using a system of ranked choice voting under which each voter shall be able to rank a minimum of three candidates for the General Assembly in order of preference. If feasible, the ballot shall permit voters to rank up to ten candidates for the General Assembly, or as close to that number as feasible. Voters shall be able to request a general ballot listing all of the candidates for all political parties and all independent candidates, a single-party ballot listing only the candidates of a single political party, or a ballot listing only independent candidates.
(c) A number of spaces equal to the number of choices voters are able to rank shall be provided to write in the names of candidates not appearing on the ballot. Write-in votes may be cast for candidates for the General Assembly who are on the ballot in congressional districts other than a voter’s congressional district. Those write-in votes from other districts will not be counted as part of the process of determining which candidates are elected to represent each congressional district but will be added to the cumulative vote total of candidates who are elected to the General Assembly for purposes of determining the value of each legislator’s weighted vote.
(d) The ballot shall be simple and easy to understand, with instructions necessary to enable voters to successfully cast ballots under the system.
(e) The results of each general election will be tabulated in rounds. In any round of tabulation, if a voter’s highest remaining choice is write-in vote for a candidate residing in a congressional district other than the congressional district in which a voter resides and votes, that ballot shall be set aside as a “provisional ballot” and counted after winning candidates from each district have been determined by votes cast within each district.
(f) In the first round of tabulation only first-choice votes shall be counted and the candidate within each district who receives the lowest number of first-choice votes is eliminated. The second-choice votes of voters whose first-choice candidate has been eliminated shall then be distributed among the “continuing candidates” and a second round of tabulation shall be conducted, after which the candidate in each district with the lowest number of “cumulative votes” is eliminated. The highest remaining choice on ballots for those eliminated candidates shall then be redistributed among the continuing candidates. This process shall be continued until there are sixteen candidates remaining in each district. The thirteen candidates with the most cumulative votes at that point are elected to the General Assembly and the candidates ranked fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth, are designated as the first, second, and third “alternate members of the General Assembly”, respectively.
(g) Provisional ballots shall then be tabulated and write-in votes on those ballots distributed among the candidates who were elected to the general assembly, not including the three alternate members from each district. A single vote will be added to the total cumulative vote for each candidate who was elected and is the highest remaining choice on each provisional ballot. The three candidates from each congressional district who receive the highest cumulative vote totals, and who also meet the requirements for serving as a senator, are elected to the senate representing each district. The remaining candidates from each district are elected as representatives.
(h) If a voter inadvertently casts a vote for more than a single candidate among any of their ranked choices each candidate listed will be given the appropriate fraction of a whole vote. If a voter inadvertently fails to fill in a choice among their ranked choices but has additional lower-ranked choices, the missing ranked choice will be ignored. A ballot with no remaining choices for candidates who were elected is an “exhausted ballot” and shall be set aside.
(i) Officials shall determine a random selection algorithm, prior to tabulation, to resolve ties between candidates for the last remaining seat, or seats, in the General Assembly or to determine which members are elected to the senate.
(j) With the exception of votes taken to override a governor’s veto, for which each member will cast a single non-weighted vote, candidates who are elected to the General Assembly shall be given weighted votes in all matters before the General Assembly based on the total number of votes each member received. The value of each member’s weighted vote shall be determined by dividing the number of cumulative votes received by each member by the number of cumulative votes received by the member of the house of representatives with the lowest number of votes.
(k) A political party having no candidate for the General Assembly or statewide office receiving at least one percent of the total vote in the preceding general election, may qualify for a place on the ballot for the General Assembly in each congressional district by presenting petitions signed by one per cent of the legal voters in that congressional district. An independent candidate may qualify for a place on the ballot in a congressional district by presenting petitions signed by one-half of one percent of the legal voters in the congressional district in which they reside. The number of “legal voters” is equal to, and determined by, the total vote for governor in the general election last preceding. Said petitions are to be delivered to the secretary of state no later than one hundred and twenty days preceding the general election.
(l) The signatures on petitions submitted by independent candidates and political parties shall be subject to verification according to the procedures in the code of state regulations for independent candidate petitions in force at the time the petitions are submitted.
Section 8. No one shall be elected to serve more than sixteen years total in the General Assembly. In applying this section, service in the General Assembly resulting from an election prior to December 3, 1992, or service of less than one year, in the case of a member of the house of representatives, or two years, in the case of a member of the senate, by a person elected after the effective date of this section to complete the term of another person, shall not be counted.
Section 9. Until the convening of the Seventy-fourth General Assembly the House of Representatives shall consist of one hundred sixty-three members elected from the one hundred sixty-three representative districts, as they existed January 1, 1965. Beginning with the election of representatives in the general elections to be held in the year two thousand and twenty-four the house of representatives shall consist of ten members elected from each congressional district.
Section 11. The first election of senators and representatives under this constitution, shall be held at the general election in the year one thousand nine hundred and forty-six when the whole number of representatives and the senators from the districts having even numbers, who shall compose the first class, shall be elected, and two years thereafter the whole number of representatives and the senators from districts having odd numbers, who shall compose the second class, shall be elected, and so on at each succeeding general election. Beginning with the general election to be held in the year two thousand and twenty-four, senators will no longer be divided into two classes. Senators from the class elected in the year two thousand and twenty-two will continue to serve for the remainder of the term to which they were elected. For the one-hundred-and-third General Assembly only, the senate will consist of forty-one senators. In the election held in the year two-thousand and twenty-four, the names of the senators from that class will not appear on the ballot, but voters may cast write-in votes for those senators and those write-in votes will be added to the number of votes senators of that class received in the election of two-thousand and twenty-two to determine the value of each senator’s weighted vote.
Section 13. If any senator or representative removes her or his residence from the state of Missouri, their office shall thereby be vacated. If any senator or representative removes her or his residence from the district from which they were elected, they may serve out their term as long as they continue to reside in Missouri.
Section 14. Vacancies in the senate shall be filled by the house member from the same district with the weighted vote with the highest value, who also meets the criteria for serving as a senator, the resulting vacancy, as well a vacancy in the house for any other reason, shall be filled by the highest ranked remaining alternate member of the general assembly. Alternate members who assume office shall have a weighted vote with a value of 1.0.
Section 20(d). If any provision of sections 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 19, 20(c), or 45 or the application thereof to anyone or to any circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of those provisions and the application of such provisions to others or other circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Section 45. When the number of representatives to which the state is entitled in the House of the Congress of the United States under the census of 1950 and each census thereafter is certified to the governor, the general assembly shall by law divide the state into districts corresponding with the number of representatives to which it is entitled, which districts shall be composed of contiguous territory as compact and as nearly equal in population as may be. Beginning with the general election of 2024, the boundaries established for congressional districts under this Constitution shall also serve as the boundaries for senatorial districts and legislative districts for purposes of electing members of the General Assembly. If the Congress of the United States enacts legislation giving states the right to elect members of the House of the Congress of the United States from multiple-member districts or at-large, the state of Missouri shall elect its members at-large, if given a choice of the two, or from multiple-member districts, if that is the only choice, with those multiple-member districts composed of contiguous territory as compact and as nearly equal in population as may be. In either case, the general assembly shall by law continue to divide the state into a number of districts corresponding with the number of representatives to which the state is entitled in the House of Congress, composed according to the guidelines provided in this section and those districts shall continue to serve as senatorial districts and legislative districts to be used in electing members of the General Assembly and for electing delegates to a convention to revise and amend the constitution of Missouri if voters should vote in favor of such a convention.