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Filibuster by Missouri Democrats stretches into a second day. What’s the fight about?

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A nonstop, overnight filibuster by Democratic lawmakers in the Missouri Senate passed the 24-hour point on Tuesday as they try to reign in a Republican proposal to make it harder to amend the state constitution.

Lawmakers face a 6 p.m. Friday deadline to pass legislation before the end of this year’s session, so Senate Democrats are blocking all work in hopes of pushing Republicans to compromise on the constitutional amendment. Democrats say Republicans added unrelated sections to the measure to include a ban noncitizen voting, which is already outlawed.

Democratic Sen. Lauren Arthur described the noncitizen voting provision as a “shiny object” designed to ramp up support for what she believes is an otherwise unpopular change to the constitutional amendment process.

“It’s our priority to make sure that if this goes to the ballot, that voters have a clear understanding of what it is that they’re being asked,” Arthur said.

Currently, amendments are enacted if they get support from 51% of all voters statewide, known as a simple majority.

The GOP wants to make it so amendments need support from 51% of voters in a majority of congressional districts as well. It’s part of an effort to give more weight to voters in rural areas that trend more Republican compared to the state’s big cities.

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