Statewide Amendments explained

Statewide Amendments explained

Learn more about the Alabama amendments that will appear on the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot. Download sample ballots for Russell County and Lee County below.

Statewide amendment 1

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 ( ).”

Explained: If approved, the change in the state’s constitution would be to replace wording that the constitution grants the right to vote for “every” U.S. citizen who meets the requirements, to it grants the right to vote for “only” those U.S. citizens who meet the requirements. The amendment makes no changes to state voting requirements, and it’s already a federal requirement to be a U.S. citizen to vote.

Statewide amendment 2

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 ( ).”

Explained: Amendment 2 processes numerous changes to the state’s judicial system, including a change that would allow Alabama Supreme Court, rather than the Chief Justice, to appoint the Administrative Director of Courts. The amendment would also increase the Judicial Inquiry Commission from nine members to 11 and would  allow Governor, rather than the Lieutenant Governor, to appoint a member of the Court of the Judiciary.  If approved, it would also prevent automatic disqualification from holding public offices for a judge solely because a complaint was filed with the Judiciary Inquiry Commission. Additionally, it would provide that a judge can be removed from office only by the Court of the Judiciary.

Statewide amendment 3

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 ( ).”

Explained: Amendment 3 would extend the time appointed district and circuit court judges serve. State law now mandates appointed judges serve one year, or until the end of the term of the judge whom they were appointed to replace, whichever is longer. The amendment would allow the appointed judge to serve two years before running to keep their judgeship in an election.

Statewide amendment 4

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 ( )

Explained: Amendment 4 would allow “a rearranged version of the state constitution” to be drafted to “remove racist language,” “remove language that is repeated or no longer applies,”  “combine language related to economic development”  and “combine language that relates to the same county.” The rearranged version of the state constitution would have to be drafted by the state Legislature in 2022, according to the amendment, and the new draft wouldn’t become law until approved by a majority of voters.

Statewide amendment 5

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 ( ).”

Explained: Amendments 5 and 6 relate to Franklin and Lauderdale counties only, and if approved, would add to the state constitution 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” in both of those counties.

Statewide amendment 6

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 ( ).”

Explained: Amendments 5 and 6 relate to Franklin and Lauderdale counties only, and if approved, would add to the state constitution 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” in both of those counties.

Editor’s note: Explanations taken from alreporter.com