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      Voters debate electronic privacy amendment

      Election Day is one week away.

      Several proposed amendments are getting a lot of attention, but one seems to be under the radar.

      Missouri voters like Mark Swanson will decide on Amendment 9 next Tuesday. A yes vote would change the Missouri Constitution and force police officers to have a warrant to search someoneâ??s cell phone or other electronic device. A no vote would keep us relying on the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that protects us from unreasonable search and seizures. The Fourth Amendment does not always require a warrant.

      Swanson said, â??I would say yes. They have to get a search warrant first otherwise itâ??s an invasion of privacy. It seems like the same thing as being able to come into my house without a warrant. Thatâ??s not right.â??

      Other Columbia voters had mixed feelings about the proposal.

      Some Missouri lawmakers put Amendment 9 on the ballot because they think it would help limit government surveillance. Opponents say the proposal is too vague and could force Missouri taxpayers to pay for costly court battles.

      Last month, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that police need a warrant to search cell phones at the time of an arrest. Their decision did not include warrants for cell phone searches at any other time.

      Amendment 9 would also stop private information such as conceal and carry licenses from being sent federal authorities or other third party organizations.