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Statewide Ballot Measures

Fair Ballot Commission
2020 Statewide November 3, 2020, General Election
Constitutional Amendment Ballot Statements

Purpose: The purpose, membership, and responsibilities of the Fair Ballot Commission are outlined at §17-6-81 of the Ala. Code, which was recently amended by Act No. 2016-337.


 

BALLOT STATEMENT FOR STATEWIDE AMENDMENT 1:

(1) The text of the statewide ballot measure, including sponsors, cosponsors, and the text of the question that will appear on the statewide ballot:

Proposed by Act No. 2019-330 (Senate Bill 313, 2019 Regular Legislative Session)
Bill Sponsor: Senator Marsh

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to amend Article VIII of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 177 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, to provide that only a citizen of the United States has the right to vote.

Proposed by Act 2019-330.

This description shall be followed by the following language: "Yes ( ) No ( )."

(2) A summary of and the text of any implementing legislation directly related to the statewide ballot measure:

There is no implementing legislation directly related to this statewide ballot measure.

(3) The placement of the statewide ballot measure on the statewide ballot:

This proposed Constitutional Amendment will appear on the Ballot after election of statewide and local offices and will be the first constitutional amendment for voter consideration. The proposed Constitutional Amendment will be listed as “Statewide Amendment 1.”

(4) A plain language summary of the statewide ballot measure, which shall include, at a minimum, the legal or constitutional authority for its passage, the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is passed, including its cost and source of funding, and the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is defeated.

The state constitution grants the right to vote to U.S. citizens who meet certain requirements. This amendment does not change those requirements.

If a majority of voters vote “yes” for Amendment 1, the state constitution will grant the right to vote to “only” those U.S. citizens who meet the requirements.

If a majority of voters vote “no” for Amendment 1, the state constitution will continue to grant the right to vote to “every” U.S. citizen who meets the requirements.

There is no cost for Amendment 1.

The Constitutional authority for passage of Amendment 1 is set forth in accordance with Sections 284, 285, and 287 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. These sections outline the method a constitutional amendment may be put to the people of the State for a vote.


 

BALLOT STATEMENT FOR STATEWIDE AMENDMENT 2:

(1) The text of the statewide ballot measure, including sponsors, cosponsors, and the text of the question that will appear on the statewide ballot:

Proposed by Act No. 2019-187 (Senate Bill 216, 2019 Regular Legislative Session)
Bill Sponsor: Senator Orr
Cosponsor: Senator Ward

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to increase the membership of the Judicial Inquiry Commission and further provide for the appointment of the additional members; further provide for the membership of the Court of the Judiciary and further provide for the appointment of the additional members; further provide for the process of disqualifying an active judge; repeal provisions providing for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justices and appellate judges and the removal for cause of the judges of the district and circuit courts, judges of the probate courts, and judges of certain other courts by the Supreme Court; delete the authority of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to appoint an Administrative Director Courts; provide the Supreme Court of Alabama with authority to appoint an Administrative Director of Courts; require the Legislature to establish procedures for the appointment of the Administrative Director of Courts; delete the requirement that a district court hold court in each incorporated municipality with a population of 1,000 or more where there is no municipal court; provide that the procedure for the filling of vacancies in the office of a judge may be changed by local constitutional amendment; delete certain language relating to the position of constable holding more than one state office; delete a provision providing for the temporary maintenance of the prior judicial system; repeal the office of circuit solicitor; and make certain nonsubstantive stylistic changes.

Proposed by Act 2019-187.

This description shall be followed by the following language: "Yes ( ) No ( )."

(2) A summary of and the text of any implementing legislation directly related to the statewide ballot measure:

If a majority of voters approve Amendment 2, a separate bill passed by the Legislature (Act 2019-497) will become law. This act creates a process to fill vacancies in the position of Administrative Director of Courts.

(3) The placement of the statewide ballot measure on the statewide ballot:

This proposed Constitutional Amendment will appear on the Ballot after election of statewide and local offices and will be the second constitutional amendment for voter consideration. The proposed Constitutional Amendment will be listed as “Statewide Amendment 2.”

(4) A plain language summary of the statewide ballot measure, which shall include, at a minimum, the legal or constitutional authority for its passage, the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is passed, including its cost and source of funding, and the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is defeated.

This amendment proposes six changes to the state’s judicial system. In summary, this amendment:

1. Provides that county district courts do not have to hold city court in a city with a population of less than 1,000;

2. Allows the Alabama Supreme Court, rather than the Chief Justice, to appoint the Administrative Director of Courts;

3. Increases from 9 to 11 the total membership of the Judicial Inquiry Commission and determines who appoints each member (the Judicial Inquiry Commission evaluates ethics complaints filed against judges);

4. Allows the Governor, rather than the Lieutenant Governor, to appoint a member of the Court of the Judiciary (the Court of the Judiciary hears complaints filed by the Judicial Inquiry Commission);

5. Prevents a judge from being automatically disqualified from holding office simply because a complaint was filed with the Judiciary Inquiry Commission; and

6. Provides that a judge can be removed from office only by the Court of the Judiciary.

If a majority of voters vote “yes” on Amendment 2, these provisions become law.

If a majority of voters vote “no” on Amendment 2, there will be no change to current law.

There is no cost for Amendment 2.

The Constitutional authority for passage of Amendment 2 is set forth in accordance with Sections 284, 285, and 287 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. These sections outline the method a constitutional amendment may be put to the people of the State for a vote.


 

BALLOT STATEMENT FOR STATEWIDE AMENDMENT 3:

(1) The text of the statewide ballot measure, including sponsors, cosponsors, and the text of the question that will appear on the statewide ballot:

Proposed by Act No. 2019-346 (House Bill 505, 2019 Regular Legislative Session)
Bill Sponsor: Representative Faulkner
Cosponsor: Representative Fridy

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that a judge, other than a judge of probate, appointed to fill a vacancy would serve an initial term until the first Monday after the second Tuesday in January following the next general election after the judge has completed two years in office.

Proposed by Act 2019-346.

This description shall be followed by the following language: "Yes ( ) No ( )."

(2) A summary of and the text of any implementing legislation directly related to the statewide ballot measure:

There is no implementing legislation directly related to this statewide ballot measure.

(3) The placement of the statewide ballot measure on the statewide ballot:

This proposed Constitutional Amendment will appear on the Ballot after election of statewide and local offices and will be the third constitutional amendment for voter consideration. The proposed Constitutional Amendment will be listed as “Statewide Amendment 3.”

(4) A plain language summary of the statewide ballot measure, which shall include, at a minimum, the legal or constitutional authority for its passage, the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is passed, including its cost and source of funding, and the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is defeated.

This amendment changes the initial term of a judge that is appointed to fill a vacancy due to death, resignation, retirement, or removal. The current law and this proposed amendment do not apply to probate judges.

Under current law, the initial term of office for a person appointed to fill a vacancy in a judgeship shall last until the first Monday after the second Tuesday in January following the next general election held after the person has completed one year in office or the remainder of the original term of the judge elected to the office which is vacant, whichever is longer. The term of the appointment could vary widely due to the years left in the original term. At the election, the judicial office shall be filled for a full term.

Under this amendment, a judge appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve an initial term lasting until the first Monday after the second Tuesday in January following the next general election held after the person has completed two years in office. At the election, the judicial office shall be filled for a full term.

If the majority of the voters vote “yes” on Amendment 3, the initial appointment to fill a judicial vacancy will last until the first Monday after the second Tuesday in January after two years of service before a general election to fill the judicial office.

If the majority of the voters vote “no” on Amendment 3, then the length of appointment to fill a judicial vacancy will not change.

There is no costs to Amendment 3.

The Constitutional authority for passage of Amendment 3 is set forth in accordance with Sections 284, 285, and 287 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. These sections outline the method a constitutional amendment may be put to the people of the State for a vote.


 

BALLOT STATEMENT FOR STATEWIDE AMENDMENT 4:

(1) The text of the statewide ballot measure, including sponsors, cosponsors, and the text of the question that will appear on the statewide ballot:

Proposed by Act No. 2019-271 (House Bill 328, 2019 Regular Legislative Session)
Bill Sponsor: Representative Coleman
Cosponsors: Representatives McCutcheon, Hollis, Rafferty, Bracy, Alexander, Drummond, Moore (M), Rogers, McClammy, Clarke, Gray, Jackson, Warren, Hill and Wadsworth

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to authorize the Legislature to recompile the Alabama Constitution and submit it during the 2022 Regular Session, and provide a process for its ratification by the voters of this state.

Proposed by Act 2019-271.

This description shall be followed by the following language: "Yes ( ) No ( )."

(2) A summary of and the text of any implementing legislation directly related to the statewide ballot measure:

There is no implementing legislation directly related to this statewide ballot measure.

(3) The placement of the statewide ballot measure on the statewide ballot:

This proposed Constitutional Amendment will appear on the Ballot after election of statewide and local offices and will be the fourth constitutional amendment for voter consideration. The proposed Constitutional Amendment will be listed as “Statewide Amendment 4.”

(4) A plain language summary of the statewide ballot measure, which shall include, at a minimum, the legal or constitutional authority for its passage, the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is passed, including its cost and source of funding, and the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is defeated.

Alabama’s constitution can be changed only during a constitutional convention or when a majority of voters approve a constitutional amendment.

If a majority of voters vote “yes” on Amendment 4, the Alabama Legislature, when it meets in 2022, would be allowed to draft a rearranged version of the state constitution. This draft could only (1) remove racist language, (2) remove language that is repeated or no longer applies, (3) combine language related to economic development, and (4) combine language that relates to the same county. No other changes could be made.

Even if passed by the Alabama Legislature, this rearranged version would not become law until it was approved by a majority of voters.

If a majority of voters vote “no” on Amendment 4, the Alabama Legislature could not draft a rearranged version of the state constitution.

There is no cost for Amendment 4.

The Constitutional authority for passage of Amendment 4 is set forth in accordance with Sections 284, 285, and 287 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. These sections outline the method a constitutional amendment may be put to the people of the State for a vote.


 

BALLOT STATEMENT FOR STATEWIDE AMENDMENT 5:

(1) The text of the statewide ballot measure, including sponsors, cosponsors, and the text of the question that will appear on the statewide ballot:

Proposed by Act No. 2019-194 (House Bill 536, 2019 Regular Legislative Session)
Bill Sponsor: Representative Kiel

Relating to Franklin County, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that a person is not liable for using deadly physical force in self-defense or in the defense of another person on the premises of a church under certain conditions.

Proposed by Act 2019-194.

This description shall be followed by the following language: "Yes ( ) No ( )."

(2) A summary of and the text of any implementing legislation directly related to the statewide ballot measure:

There is no implementing legislation directly related to this statewide ballot measure.

(3) The placement of the statewide ballot measure on the statewide ballot:

This proposed Constitutional Amendment will appear on the Ballot after election of statewide and local offices and will be the fifth constitutional amendment for voter consideration. The proposed Constitutional Amendment will be listed as “Statewide Amendment 5.”

(4) A plain language summary of the statewide ballot measure, which shall include, at a minimum, the legal or constitutional authority for its passage, the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is passed, including its cost and source of funding, and the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is defeated.

Alabama’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows a person to legally use physical force against another person under certain conditions. The law does not require the person to retreat before using physical force.

If a majority of voters in Alabama vote “yes” on Amendment 5, and if, in addition, a majority of voters in Franklin County vote “yes” on Amendment 5, the state constitution would contain a special “Stand Your Ground” law that applies to churches in Franklin County only.

If a majority of voters in Alabama vote “no” on Amendment 5, or, if a majority of voters in Franklin County vote “no” on Amendment 5, the state constitution would not contain a special “Stand Your Ground” law that applies to churches in Franklin County.

There is no cost for Amendment 5.

The Constitutional authority for passage of Amendment 5 is set forth in accordance with Sections 284, 285, and 287 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. These sections outline the method a constitutional amendment may be put to the people of the State for a vote.


 

BALLOT STATEMENT FOR STATEWIDE AMENDMENT 6:

(1) The text of the statewide ballot measure, including sponsors, cosponsors, and the text of the question that will appear on the statewide ballot:

Proposed by Act No. 2019-193 (House Bill 461, 2019 Regular Legislative Session)
Bill Sponsor: Representative Greer
Cosponsors: Representatives Sorrell, Kiel and Pettus

Relating to Lauderdale County, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that a person is not liable for using deadly physical force in self-defense or in the defense of another person on the premises of a church under certain conditions.

Proposed by Act 2019-193.

This description shall be followed by the following language: "Yes ( ) No ( )."

(2) A summary of and the text of any implementing legislation directly related to the statewide ballot measure:

There is no implementing legislation directly related to this statewide ballot measure.

(3) The placement of the statewide ballot measure on the statewide ballot:

This proposed Constitutional Amendment will appear on the Ballot after election of statewide and local offices and will be the sixth constitutional amendment for voter consideration. The proposed Constitutional Amendment will be listed as “Statewide Amendment 6.”

(4) A plain language summary of the statewide ballot measure, which shall include, at a minimum, the legal or constitutional authority for its passage, the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is passed, including its cost and source of funding, and the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is defeated.

Alabama’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows a person to legally use physical force against another person under certain conditions. The law does not require the person to retreat before using physical force.

If a majority of voters in Alabama vote “yes” on Amendment 6, and if, in addition, a majority of voters in Lauderdale County vote “yes” on Amendment 6, the state constitution would contain a special “Stand Your Ground” law that applies to churches in Lauderdale County only.

If a majority of voters in Alabama vote “no” on Amendment 6, or, if a majority of voters in Lauderdale County vote “no” on Amendment 6, the state constitution would not contain a special “Stand Your Ground” law that applies to churches in Lauderdale County.

There is no cost for Amendment 6.

The Constitutional authority for passage of Amendment 6 is set forth in accordance with Sections 284, 285, and 287 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. These sections outline the method a constitutional amendment may be put to the people of the State for a vote.

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