PGI logo cropped.png
Congressional Millionaire’s Club
The Personal Gain Index shines a light on how members of Congress benefit during their tenure.





Laws governing ballot measures in Georgia

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Amending the Georgia Constitution

See also: Amending the Georgia Constitution

Article X of the Georgia Constitution establishes two ways in which the constitution can be altered, revised or amended over time, either via legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or constitutional conventions.

Referred amendments

Article X of the Georgia Constitution establishes two ways in which the constitution can be altered, revised or amended over time, either via legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or constitutional conventions.

Some noteworthy features of Article X:

  • It contains a prohibition found in very few state constitutions in that it explicitly restricts the type of amendment that can be offered by saying, "Only amendments which are of general and uniform applicability throughout the state shall be proposed, passed, or submitted to the people."
  • The governor is also explicitly forbidden from vetoing acts of the legislature to propose amendments or call conventions.
  • Newly approved amendments or revisions are effective on the first day of January following their approval.
  • The state legislature can vote to put an entire new constitution on a statewide ballot, rather than just an amendment.
  • Unlike in many other states that allow for constitutional conventions, the legislature can unilaterally call for a convention without submitting that proposal to a vote of the people.

Rules for proposed amendments offered by the Georgia General Assembly include:

  • An amendment can be proposed starting in either chamber of the assembly, i.e., the House of Representatives or the Senate.
  • A proposed amendment must be approved by 2/3rds of the membership of each chamber before going to the state's voters.
  • Proposed amendments are to be voted on during general elections of even-numbered years.
  • Article X establishes a Georgia Constitutional Amendments Publication Board which is charged with ensuring that the state's voters have adequate notification that an election is to occur on a proposed amendment(s).
  • The General Assembly can put a measure on the ballot that is either an amendment to the existing constitution, or an entirely new constitution.
  • The General Assembly is allowed to repeal a previous vote to put a proposed amendment on the ballot if they do so with a 2/3rds vote of both chambers and at least two months before the election would have occurred.

To amend the Georgia Constitution at the ballot box, a vote of 2/3 of each of the two houses of the Georgia State Legislature is required.

A summary of any such proposals that the state legislature decides to vote onto the ballot, for a statewide vote of all electors, is then prepared by the state's Attorney General, in conjunction with the Legislative Counsel and the Georgia Secretary of State. A simple majority of those voting in the election is sufficient to ratify a new amendment.

The state legislature can take back any proposals prior to a statewide vote, if they do so by a 2/3rds vote of each house at least two months in advance of the election.

Constitutional convention

See also: Constitutional conventions

The state legislature can also call a constitutional convention; that convention can refer measures to the ballot in the same fashion prescribed for the state legislature.

Rules for a constitutional convention include:

  • Unlike in many other states, the state legislature can unilaterally call for a convention as long as 2/3rds of the members of each chamber vote in favor of doing that; the people of the state do not have to be further consulted.
  • Any proposed amendments or revisions arising out of a convention must be put to the state's voters.

Role of governor

See also: Governor of Georgia

If the state legislature by a 2/3rds vote decides to place a measure on the statewide ballot, the governor cannot veto that decision.

See also

External links