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Alabamians to vote on 6 constitutional amendments in November election


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Alabama voters will see a number of local and state races on the ballot on Nov. 3, in addition to the presidential contest. Among the statewide referendums is a set of six proposed constitutional amendments. Some proposed amendments have lacked widespread attention, due to their language and can become confusing to voters. Here’s a breakdown of each amendment that will be on the ballot.

Amendment 1

This amendment would change the wording of the state’s constitution. As it stands, the state of Alabama guarantees every U.S. citizen the right to vote, as long as they meet the requirements.

This amendment would change the word every to only.

A “yes” vote would change the constitution to guarantee that only U.S. citizens had the right to vote.

A “no” vote would continue to guarantee voting rights to every U.S. citizen.

The U.S. Constitution, which supersedes the Alabama Constitution already protects voting rights for all U.S. citizens. The impact of this amendment would likely be limited, as non-citizen voting is not an issue in Alabama.

Amendment 2

This amendment is a result of many months of discussion by state lawmakers to streamline the rules governing the states court system, making them less confusing.

This amendment would create more stability for administration in the court system.

Amendment 2 also includes five other provisions, such as:

District courts would no longer have to hold court in municipalities that have less than 1,000 people. Court cases from that city would be held at the county seat. The Judicial Inquiry Commission, which evaluates ethics complaints about judges, would be expanded from a nine-person body, to one that has eleven members.
The amendment exchanges a position on the Court of Judiciary, which hears the complaints brought to them by the Judiciary Inquiry Commission. Instead of being appointed by the lieutenant governor, the position would be appointed by the governor. Judges will no longer be automatically disqualified from holding office, if a complaint is filed by the Judicial Inquiry Commission with the Court of Judiciary. This amendment would require that judges be removed from office only by the Court of Judiciary and not by any other body. In the past, the state legislature had a hand in the impeachment of state judges.

Amendment 3

This amendment would give an appointed circuit or district judge more time to fill a vacancy before being faced with an election.

The current law, district and state judges appointed by the governor serve an initial term of one year or the remainder of the original term, whichever is longer.

This amendment would shift the initial term length to at least two years before the judge must run for election.

Amendment 4

Alabama is currently known for its incredibly long constitution. This amendment would reorganize the constitution and remove any outdated or racist language. Voting “yes” would authorize the legislature to recompile the constitution during the 2022 session.

Alabama’s constitution still has references to separate schools for white and colored children, while also banning marriage between a white person and a person of color.

Amendment 5 and 6

These amendments pertain specifically to Franklin and Lauderdale counties, however under Alabama Law, it is required that each amendment is voted on statewide.

These amendments would clarify that Alabama’s “stand your ground” law applies inside churches and other houses of worship. According to the legislation, a person is justified in the use of force if they or someone else is in danger.

Be sure to exercise your right to vote on Nov. 3. To check your registration status, click here. For information regarding an absentee ballot, click here.

To view each proposed amendment and its language, along with other issues that will be decided on at a local level, click here.

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