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Nevada Unappropriated Public Land Disclaimer, Question 4 (1996)

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The Nevada Unappropriated Public Land Disclaimer Question, also known as Question 4, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 5, 1996 election ballot in Nevada, where it was approved.

Election results

Question 4 (Unappropriated Public Land Disclaimer)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 234,206 56.3%
No181,74343.7%

Official results via: Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau - Research Division

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Shall the Territorial Ordinance of the Nevada Constitution be amended to remove the disclaimer of the state's interest in the unappropriated public lands?[1]

The language that appeared in the voter's guide:

EXPLANATION
On March 21, 1864, the United States Congress passed legislation enabling the people of the Territory of Nevada to form a constitution and establish a state government. Section 4 of this Enabling Act required the new state to prohibit slavery, to allow religious freedom, and to include a disclaimer which purportedly forever allowed the Federal Government to control much of the land within the boundaries of the state. This land was referred to as the "unappropriated public lands." These conditions were included in the "Ordinance" of Nevada's original constitution, which was approved by the voters on September 7, 1864, and by President Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed Nevada's statehood on October 31, 1864.
The proposed amendment would remove that provision from the "Ordinance" which reads that the people of the Territory of Nevada "forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States." The proposed amendment, if approved, does not become effective until the Congress of the United States consents to the amendment or until a court decides that such congressional action is not needed.
A "Yes" vote is a vote to remove the disclaimer from the ordinance.
A "No" vote is a vote to leave the disclaimer in the ordinance.
FISCAL NOTE
Financial Impact - Cannot be determined. The proposal to amend the ordinance of the Nevada Constitution would remove the disclaimer of the interest of the state in unappropriated public lands. The fiscal effect would be determined by subsequent actions of the Federal Government and persons who may take advantage of the provision.[1]

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