Voter’s Guide To The Proposed Amendments

Summary of the Four Amendments That Will Be On Tuesday's Ballot

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In case you haven’t been listening there is an important election coming up Tuesday, November 6. In Alabama we will be electing a Governor, many of our top State government officials, Alabama Supreme Court Judges, and some U.S. Congressional Representatives.

In addition, there are four (4) proposed amendments to the Alabama State Constitution on the ballot. As an informed voter and patriotic citizen you should know the effect of your choice of voting Yes or No on these amendments before you go to the polls Tuesday. (You are going to Vote aren’t you?)

The Bibb Voice has offered individual articles summarizing each individual Amendment in the weeks leading up to the election. If you missed those and want to catch up you can click on the links embedded in the headings below to reach our complete article on each Amendment. If you waited to the last minute to study (like you did in school before a test) and don’t have time to read all of our previous articles, then read on below to get the Cliff Notes version.

Following below is a short summary of each amendment and the effect of a Yes or No vote as summarized by the Fair Ballot Commission.

AMENDMENT ONE (TEN COMMANDMENTS)

Under current law, the state constitution contains no language related to the display of the Ten Commandments.

Amendment 1 does two things. First, it provides that a person is free to worship God as he or she chooses, and that a person’s religious beliefs will have no effect on his or her civil or political rights. Second, it makes clear that the Ten Commandments may be displayed on public property so long as the display meets constitutional requirements, such as being displayed along with historical or educational items. Amendment 1 also provides that no public funds may be used to defend this amendment in court.

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF A YES VOTE:

If a majority of voters vote “Yes” on Amendment 1, the state constitution will provide that a person is free to worship God as he or she chooses and that a person’s religious beliefs will have no effect on his or her civil or political rights. It will also provide that the Ten Commandments can be displayed on public property so long as the display meets constitutional requirements, such as being displayed along with historical or educational items.

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF A NO VOTE: 

If a majority of voters vote “No” on Amendment 1, no language related to the display of the Ten Commandments would be included in the state constitution.

AMENDMENT TWO (ESTABLISHES PUBLIC POLICY)

Amendment 2 provides that it would be the public policy of the state to recognize and support the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life; and to protect the rights of unborn children. Additionally, the amendment would make clear that the state constitution does not include a right to abortion or require the funding of an abortion using public funds.

The proposed amendment does not identify any specific actions or activities as unlawful. It expresses a public policy that supports broad protections for the rights of unborn children as long as the protections are lawful.

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF A YES VOTE:

If a majority of voters vote “Yes” on Amendment 2, the public policy of this state will be to support and protect the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children. The state constitution would also not include a right to an abortion or to the funding of an abortion using public funds.

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF A NO VOTE:

If a majority of voters vote “No” on Amendment 2, there would be no language in the state constitution related to the importance of unborn life or protecting the rights of unborn children, or to abortion or the funding of abortions using public funds.

AMENDMENT THREE (UA BOARD OF TRUSTEES)

Amendment 3 does three things. First, it provides that the board will be composed of members from congressional districts as those districts existed on January 1, 2018, meaning any future changes to the number of congressional districts in Alabama would not impact the number of board members. Second, it removes the State Superintendent of Education from automatically having a seat on the board. Third, it allows a trustee to serve after his or her seventieth birthday.

A VOTE OF YES WILL HAVE THE FOLLOWING EFFECT:

If a majority of voters vote “Yes” on Amendment 3, future changes to the number of congressional districts in Alabama will not impact the number of board members, the State Superintendent of Education will no longer automatically be a member of the board, and trustees will be allowed to serve on the board after their seventieth birthday.

A VOTE OF NO WILL HAVE THE FOLLOWING EFFECT:

If a majority of voters vote “No” on Amendment 3, future changes to the number of congressional districts in Alabama will impact the number of board members, the State Superintendent of Education will continue to automatically have a seat on the board, and trustees will not be allowed to serve on the board after their seventieth birthday.

AMENDMENT FOUR (SPECIAL ELECTIONS)

Amendment 4 provides that when a vacancy occurs in the state legislature on or after October 1 of year three of the four-year term, the seat will remain vacant until the next general election, which occurs in November of the fourth year of the term. The Governor would no longer have the power to schedule a special election to fill a vacancy in these circumstances, and public funds that would have been spent on the special election would be saved.

A VOTE OF YES WILL HAVE THE FOLLOWING EFFECT:

If a majority of voters vote “Yes” on Amendment 4, state legislative seats that become vacant within the final 14 months of the four-year term of office will remain vacant until the general election.

A VOTE OF NO WILL HAVE THE FOLLOWING EFFECT:

If a majority of voters vote “No” on Amendment 4, the Governor will continue to be required to schedule a special election whenever a vacancy occurs in the state legislature.

 

 

SOURCEThe Bibb Voice
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Mike Hobson is almost nearly, but not quite fully retired. He is committed to remain active and in the crossfire of criticism in order to agitate his critics and annoy his opponents. Southern by birth and a Conservative by choice he shares his experiences, dry wit, and fleeting wisdom through his writings on the Bibb Voice for the benefit of those who read to the end.

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