Constitutional Convention Cliff Notes #2

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In preparation for voting on the question of a constitutional convention on your general election ballot, we are providing “cliff notes” on the details of how a convention works. Part 1 ran yesterday and can be found here.


Upon the conclusion of the constitutional convention, the LG “shall prepare a proposed ballot title and proposition for each amendment to the Constitution … proposed by . . . a constitutional convention.” AS 15.50.010.

  • Each amendment is confined to one subject
  • Each amendment gets voted on separately.
  • Within 30 days of the adjournment of the convention, the LG must provide a copy of each proposed amendment to each legislator and make copies available to the public.
  • The date of this notice to each legislator is important because the deadlines for what follow for resolving ballot language disputes are all tied to that date.
  • The LG ’s wording on the proposition on the ballot must meet a statutory formula for assuring the wording is simple and concise and must be worded so that an answer “yes” is a vote to adopt the amendment. AS §15.50.010(b).
  • The ballot title cannot be more than six words.
  •  The language on the ballot proposing the amendment cannot be more than 100 words.
  •  The language used in the proposition on the ballot must “give a true and impartial summary of the amendment proposed.” AS 15.50.020.
  • The legislature or any “qualified voter” can object to the language proposed by the LG by filing an objection with the LG within 15 days of getting the LG’s proposed language.
  • Within 10 days of the deadline for any objections, the LG must advise any objector of his/her decision on the objection. AS 15,50.025.
  • If any of the disappointed objectors don’t like the LG’s decision, he/she may file an action in superior court to resolve the matter. Any such action must be filed within 45 days of the LG originally sending copies of the proposed amendments and proposition language to the legislators (and public).
  • The language that will be used for the ballot title and proposition for each proposed amendment will be determined by either
    • 1) The LG after objections are made and resolved by the Lt. Gov
    •  2) The court system after it resolves any language controversies.

TOMORROW:  Timelines for Voting