Significant statewide amendments on ballot

Published 1:14 am Monday, November 5, 2018

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Several statewide amendments will appear on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot for voters in Butler County.

Each year, amendments appear on the ballot. They can sometimes be confusing to voters and are not easily discernable.

This year, several amendments could have a direct effect on the lives of the people in Alabama. Voters will find four statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot this election. Each amendment can be voted on by shading the circle for “Yes” or “No.”

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The following details what each amendment deals with:

Amendment 1 – “Proposes an amendment providing for certain religious rights and liberties; authorizing the display of the Ten Commandments on state property and property owned or administered by a public school or public body; and prohibiting funds in defense of the amendment.”

Explanation: The amendment, if passed, states that no person’s religion can affect his or her political or civil rights. It also clarifies that the Ten Commandments may be displayed on public property, and if challenges come forward to its constitutionality, public funds may not be used in its defense.

Amendment 2 – “Proposes an amendment to declare and otherwise affirm that it is public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn children, most importantly the right of life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful and to provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right of abortion or require the funding of abortion.”

Explanation: Amendment No. 2 would give unborn persons the same rights as all persons in Alabama.

Amendment 3 – “Proposes an amendment relating the Board of Trustees at the University of Alabama, to specify that congressional district from which members are appointed continue to reflect those as constituted on Jan. 1, 2018, to remove the State Superintendent of Education from membership, and to delete the requirement that members vacate office at the annual meeting of the board following their 70th birthday.”

Explanation: If the Alabama gains or loses a congressional seat, the makeup of the Board of Trustees would not be affected. It would also remove the State Superintendent from automatic membership and eliminates requirement for board members to retire after their 70th birthday.

Amendment 4 – Proposed amendment to provide that, if a vacancy in either the House of Representatives or the Senate occurs after Oct. 1 of the third year of quadrennium, the seat would remain vacant until a successor is elected the succeeding general election.”

Explanation: Alabama state legislators are elected to four-year terms known as the quadrennium. If approved, the Governor of Alabama could not call for a special election to fill the vacant seat if the vacancy occurs after Sept. of the third year of quadrennium.