Article XVIII, Alabama Constitution

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Alabama Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIII
Amendments
Article XVIII of the Alabama Constitution is labeled Mode of Amending the Constitution. It has four sections (Sections 284, 285, 286 and 287) which taken together lay out the ways in which the Alabama Constitution can go through the process of constitutional amendment.

Article XVIII defines two ways in which the process of amending the constitution can occur:

  • If both houses of the Alabama State Legislature by a three-fifths (60%) vote agree, then a proposed constitutional amendment shall go on a statewide election ballot. If that amendment is approved by a simple majority of those voting in that election, it becomes part of the constitution.
  • Amendments can initiate in either the Alabama State Senate or the Alabama House of Representatives.
  • Amendments can be voted on either at the next general election, or at a special election date determined by the state legislature. Any such special elections must take place "not less than" three months after the final adjournment of the session of the legislature during which the amendment(s) was proposed.
  • Notice of the fact that an election on a proposed amendment is going to take place must be published in each county of the state for at least eight successive weeks prior to the election.
  • If both chambers of the state legislature agree by a simple majority vote, then a ballot question about whether to have a statewide constitutional convention can be placed on the ballot; if that question is approved by a majority of those voting in that election, then a constitutional convention will be called.

Section 284

Text of Section 284:

Manner of Proposing Amendments; Submission of Amendments to Electors; Election on Amendments; Proclamation of Result of Election; Basis of Representation in Legislature Not to Be Changed by Amendment

Amendments may be proposed to this Constitution by the legislature in the manner following: The proposed amendments shall be read in the house in which they originate on three several days, and, if upon the third reading three-fifths of all the members elected to that house shall vote in favor thereof, the proposed amendments shall be sent to the other house, in which they shall likewise be read on three several days, and if upon the third reading three-fifths of all the members elected to that house shall vote in favor of the proposed amendments, the legislature shall order an election by the qualified electors of the state upon such proposed amendments, to be held either at the general election next succeeding the session of the legislature at which the amendments are proposed or upon another day appointed by the legislature, not less than three months after the final adjournment of the session of the legislature at which the amendments were proposed. Notice of such election, together with the proposed amendments, shall be given by proclamation of the governor, which shall be published in every county in such manner as the legislature shall direct, for at least eight successive weeks next preceding the day appointed for such election. On the day so appointed an election shall be held for the vote of the qualified electors of the state upon the proposed amendments. If such election be held on the day of the general election, the officers of such general election shall open a poll for the vote of the qualified electors upon the proposed amendments; if it be held on a day other than that of a general election, officers for such election shall be appointed; and the election shall be held in all things in accordance with the law governing general elections. In all elections upon such proposed amendments, the votes cast thereat shall be canvassed, tabulated, and returns thereof be made to the secretary of state, and counted, in the same manner as in elections for representatives to the legislature; and if it shall thereupon appear that a majority of the qualified electors who voted at such election upon the proposed amendments voted in favor of the same, such amendments shall be valid to all intents and purposes as parts of this Constitution. The result of such election shall be made known by proclamation of the governor. Representation in the legislature shall be based upon population, and such basis of representation shall not be changed by constitutional amendments.

Amendments

Section 285

Text of Section 285:

Election Ballots; Affirmative Vote of Majority of Electors Voting Required for Passage.

Upon the ballots used at all elections provided for in section 284 of this Constitution the substance or subject matter of each proposed amendment shall be so printed that the nature thereof shall be clearly indicated. Following each proposed amendment on the ballot shall be printed the word "Yes" and immediately under that shall be printed the word "No." The choice of the elector shall be indicated by a cross mark made by him or under his direction, opposite the word expressing his desire, and no amendment shall be adopted unless it receives the affirmative vote of a majority of all the qualified electors who vote at such election.

Section 286

Text of Section 286:

Manner of Calling Convention for Purpose of Altering or Amending Constitution; Repeal of Act or Resolution Calling Convention; Jurisdiction and Power of Convention Not Restricted.

No convention shall hereafter be held for the purpose of altering or amending the Constitution of this state, unless after the legislature by a vote of a majority of all the members elected to each house has passed an act or resolution calling a convention for such purpose the question of convention or no convention shall be first submitted to a vote of all the qualified electors of the state, and approved by a majority of those voting at such election. No act or resolution of the legislature calling a convention for the purpose of altering or amending the Constitution of this state, shall be repealed except upon the vote of a majority of all the members elected to each house at the same session at which such act or resolution was passed; provided, nothing herein contained shall be construed as restricting the jurisdiction and power of the convention, when duly assembled in pursuance of this section, to establish such ordinances and to do and perform such things as to the convention may seem necessary or proper for the purpose of altering, revising, or amending the existing Constitution.

Section 287

Text of Section 287:

Votes by Legislature on Proposed Amendments or Bills or Resolutions Calling Conventions; Acts or Resolutions Proposing Amendments or Calling Conventions Not to Be Submitted to Governor for Approval.

All votes of the legislature upon proposed amendments to this Constitution, and upon bills or resolutions calling a convention for the purpose of altering or amending the Constitution of this state, shall be taken by yeas and nays and entered on the journals. No act or resolution of the legislature passed in accordance with the provisions of this article, proposing amendments to this Constitution, or calling a convention for the purpose of altering or amending the Constitution of this state, shall be submitted for the approval of the governor, but shall be valid without his approval.

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