A meeting of the Electoral Reform Coalition was held on the evening
of Wednesday, September 5th at the Kansas City Plaza Library.
Present were members of the Progressive Party, Libertarian Party, and
Natural Law Party. Here is a brief recap of what was discussed.
The Missouri State Legislature will be reconvening soon from their
summer hiatus to begin committee work on bills for the next session.
Senator Ron DePasco has been contacted by phone, and IRV information
packets have been sent to him and Senator John Loudon. Senator
DePasco stated that an all-encompassing elections bill was very
likely to be voted on in next year's session. It was decided that as
many letters and phone calls as possible should be directed to
members of the appropriate committees in the senate and the house,
preferrably from voters in the members' districts. The senate
committee is titled the "Financial and Governmental Organization,
Veterans' Affairs, and Elections Committee", and the house committee
is simply the "Elections Committee". Information on the members of
these committees can be found at www.moga.state.mo.us.
The issue of voting equipment was discussed and deemed critical,
because any new equipment purchased that is not compatible with
ranked ballots could deal a real setback to the IRV movement.
Concern was also expressed about new voting technologies,
particularly computers, and their ability to be tampered with.
The status of IRV in local municipal elections was discussed. The
Kansas City Charter Review Commission has made their final
recommendations to the City Council, and they did not include any
mention of IRV or proportional representation. It was decided that
it would be more appropriate to work with the City Council on this
issue for the near future, rather than attempting a citizen's
initiative at this time.
Various means of educating the public about IRV were discussed.
Ideas included visiting "Speakers Corner", getting information onto
the local public access TV channel, speaking on various talk radio
shows, writing letters to the editor of the Kansas City Star, working
with students at local colleges, finding a sympathetic reporter or
editor who would be willing to write about the issue, leaving IRV
brochures in libraries, and leading discussions at the Supreme Bean
coffee shop on Wednesday nights. Contacting other sympathetic groups
and offering to speak on IRV at their regular meetings was also
discussed as a means of growing the coalition.
Copies of the "Activist Kit" from the website for the Center for
Voting and Democracy were handed out to all present. It was decided
that the group should plan to meet about once every three months to
coordinate activities and keep in touch.
For more information on how you can help promote IRV and other
electoral reforms in Missouri, please contact Lou Traxel at