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Alaska Constitutional Convention Question, Ballot Measure 1 (2012)

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Constitutional Convention Question
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Type:Automatic ballot referral
Topic:Constitutional conventions
Status:On the ballot
The Alaska Constitutional Convention Question will appear on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the state of Alaska as an automatic ballot referral.[1]

The measure would create a convention to revise, alter or amend the state constitution. The last time a constitutional convention question was on the ballot in the state was in 2002. That measure was defeated.

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results

The following are unofficial results:

Alaska Ballot Measure 1
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 117510 56.57%
No9021943.43%

432 out of 438 precincts reporting'

Results via the Alaska Division of Elections.

Text of the measure

Ballot language

The following is the ballot language that will appear before voters:[2]

Shall there be a constitutional convention?[3]

Legislative Affairs Agency summary

This question relates to a call for a constitutional convention. At the convention the state constitution may be amended or revised, subject to approval by the voters. Under the state constitution, the voters must have the chance to vote on the question of whether there should be a constitutional convention if there has not been a convention during the last ten years. There has not been a convention in the last ten years. This question asks voters to say whether there should be a constitutional convention.[4]

Support

The following are excerpts of the statement of support that was submitted for the State of Alaska Official Voter Pamphlet:[4]

  • "The risks of corruption in government have risen. You know the examples. The attorney general may be conflicted or preoccupied. A constitutional amendment can create a quasi-judicial office of Inspector General with the duties of overseeing ethical performance of government, election management, redistricting and other duties, which do not easily fit under executive control. Your permanent fund dividend is not in the constitution. It needs protection as politicians may seek other uses for the money and sustainable standards for its size. The fund itself has no stated purpose. A convention can define the “rainy day” that allows legislative expenditures. Standards for the use of its income can be set. Part of its income can be committed to expand the existing constitutional right to K-12 education to include a preschool year with participation by private institutions."
  • "People fear that extremists of the left or right will take over a convention, but for a convention, people of stature will come forward who were not prepared to give their lives to legislative representation. You get to choose the delegates and you get to vote on the convention product, probably a series of amendments, before any change is adopted. The Alaskan democracy and the Alaskan way of life are in danger. A convention is a risk worth taking."

Note: The statement of support was written by John Havelock, former Attorney General.

Opposition

The following are excerpts of the statement of opposition that was submitted for the State of Alaska Official Voter Pamphlet:[4]

  • "While certain issues prompt intense public interest, a constitutional convention is NOT the best way to address these issues. There is a clear and effective amendment process. The LWVAK supports the amendment process for any needed changes. The amendment process has worked forty times, and it will continue to work in the future. In this way the people have an opportunity to address specific issues rather than risk opening up the entire Constitution to major changes."
  • "A constitutional convention would have plenary powers to amend or revise our Constitution. In other words, the entire Constitution would be open to change. This could put the Constitution at risk with unlimited and unpredictable amendments being proposed by special interest groups. The convention could be slated toward special interest rather than the good of the general public."
  • "In 1972, 1982, 1992, and 2002, the League of Women Voters of Alaska opposed a constitutional convention. In 2012 we maintain this position. We urge you, the voters, to do the same. We cannot afford the cost, and we should not run the risk of unpredictable and unnecessary changes to our Constitution."

Note: The statement of opposition was written by Linda Witt, President, League of Women Voters of Alaska.

Path to the ballot

Section 3 of Article 13 of the Alaska Constitution calls for the question of whether to hold a convention to automatically be placed on the ballot every ten years.

See also

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References

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