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Difference between revisions of "Publication requirements for proposed state constitutional amendments"

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| Such proposed amendments, the ballot language, the explanations, and the arguments, if any, shall be published once a week for three consecutive weeks preceding such election, in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each county of the state, where a newspaper is published. The General Asembly shall provide by law for other dissemination of information in order to inform the electors concerning proposed amendments. An election on a proposed constitutional amendment submitted by the general assembly shall not be enjoined nor invalidated because the explanation, arguments, or other information is faulty in any way.  
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| Such proposed amendments, the ballot language, the explanations, and the arguments, if any, shall be published once a week for three consecutive weeks preceding such election, in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each county of the state, where a newspaper is published. The General Assembly shall provide by law for other dissemination of information in order to inform the electors concerning proposed amendments. An election on a proposed constitutional amendment submitted by the general assembly shall not be enjoined nor invalidated because the explanation, arguments, or other information is faulty in any way.  
 
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Revision as of 23:09, 14 January 2014

States with requirements
AlabamaArizonaArkansas
DelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana
KansasKentuckyLouisiana
MaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichigan
MissouriMontanaNebraska
New MexicoOhio
PennsylvaniaTexasUtah
WashingtonWest Virginia
Wyoming

Minimal specifications
ColoradoIowaNevada
New YorkRhode Island
TennesseeVermont
Wisconsin

No requirements
AlaskaCaliforniaConnecticut
MinnesotaMississippi
New HampshireNorth Carolina
North DakotaNew Jersey
OklahomaOregon
South CarolinaSouth Dakota
Virginia

Amending state constitutions
Many, but not all, state constitutions include an explicit publication requirement requiring that the public be notified when an election on a proposed constitutional amendment is to take place.

When there is a constitutionally mandated publication requirement, it can be found in the section of a state's constitution about how the state's constitution may be amended. Publication requirements vary considerably from state-to-state. In states where there is no explicit constitutional mandate requiring the government to provide public notice that an election on a proposed amendment will take place, there may be statutory publication requirements.

  • 14 states have no constitutionally mandated publication requirement.
  • 8 states have very minimal requirements in their constitution, or have a requirement but one that is non-specific, such as Vermont, where the requirement is "public notice of the proposed amendment shall be given by proclamation of the Governor".
  • 29 state constitutions do incorporate a publication requirement.[1] In 18 of these states, the requirement specifically mentions either "newspapers" or the "news media" as places where public notice about an election on a proposed amendment must be published.
See also: Official voter guides to 2010 statewide ballot measures

Alabama

Main article: Article XVIII, Alabama Constitution

Section 284 says in relevant part:

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.

In the 2010 session of the Alabama State Legislature, two bills were proposed (HB 198 and SB 130) that would have required the Alabama Secretary of State to post on its website all proposed statewide constitutional amendments and provide a discussion platform in which public comments could be exchanged in an interactive format. Neither bill was enacted.

Alaska

There is no constitutionally mandated publication requirement in Article XIII of the Alaska Constitution.

Arizona

Main article: Article 21, Arizona Constitution

Section 1 says in relevant part:

Until a method of publicity is otherwise provided by law, the secretary of state shall have such proposed amendment or amendments published for a period of at least ninety days previous to the date of said election in at least one newspaper in every county of the state in which a newspaper shall be published, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

Arkansas

Voter Guides
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Publication requirements
Main article: Section 22, Article 19, Arkansas Constitution

Section 22 says in relevant part:

...such proposed amendments shall be entered on the journals with the yeas and nays, and published in at least one newspaper in each county, where a newspaper is published, for six months immediately preceding the next general election for Senators and Representatives, at which time the same shall be submitted to the electors of the State, for approval or rejection.

California

Main articles: Article II, California Constitution and Article XVIII, California Constitution

There is no specific publication requirement in the California Constitution. However, the California Secretary of State publishes a California Voter Guide, and has published an online version for every election since March 26, 1996.

Colorado

Main articles: Section 1, Article V of the Colorado Constitution and Article XIX, Colorado Constitution.

Section 2 has a minimal publication requirement. In relevant part, it says:

The proposed amendment or amendments shall be published with the laws of that session of the general assembly.

Connecticut

Main articles: Article XII, Connecticut Constitution and Article XIII, Connecticut Constitution.

In relevant part, Article XII says:

[A proposed amendment] shall, by the secretary of the state, be transmitted to the town clerk in each town in the state, whose duty it shall be to present the same to the electors thereof for their consideration at the general election...

Florida

Main article: Article XI, Florida Constitution

In relevant part, Section 5 says:

(c) The legislature shall provide by general law, prior to the holding of an election pursuant to this section, for the provision of a statement to the public regarding the probable financial impact of any amendment proposed by initiative pursuant to section 3.

(d) Once in the tenth week, and once in the sixth week immediately preceding the week in which the election is held, the proposed amendment or revision, with notice of the date of election at which it will be submitted to the electors, shall be published in one newspaper of general circulation in each county in which a newspaper is published.

Georgia

Main article: Article X, Georgia Constitution

In relevant part, Paragraph II says:

A summary of such proposal shall be prepared by the Attorney General, the Legislative Counsel, and the Secretary of State and shall be published in the official organ of each county and, if deemed advisable by the "Constitutional Amendments Publication Board," in not more than 20 other newspapers in the state designated by such board which meet the qualifications for being selected as the official organ of a county. Said board shall be composed of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Such summary shall be published once each week for three consecutive weeks immediately preceding the day of the general election at which such proposal is to be submitted. The language to be used in submitting a proposed amendment or a new Constitution shall be in such words as the General Assembly may provide in the resolution or, in the absence thereof, in such language as the Governor may prescribe. A copy of the entire proposed amendment or of a new Constitution shall be filed in the office of the judge of the probate court of each county and shall be available for public inspection; and the summary of the proposal shall so indicate. The General Assembly is hereby authorized to provide by law for additional matters relative to the publication and distribution of proposed amendments and summaries not in conflict with the provisions of this Paragraph.

Hawaii

Main article: Article XVII, Hawaii Constitution

The Hawaii Constitution describes how amendments or revisions proposed by constitutional conventions are to be publicized, and how amendments proposed by the legislature are to be publicized.

Amendments or revisions coming out of a convention are publicized according to this part of Section 2:

At least thirty days prior to the submission of any proposed revision or amendments, the convention shall make available for public inspection, a full text of the proposed amendments. Every public library, office of the clerk of each county, and the chief election officer shall be provided such texts and shall make them available for public inspection. The full text of any proposed revision or amendments shall also be made available for inspection at every polling place on the day of the election at which such revision or amendments are submitted.

The convention shall, as provided by law, be responsible for a program of voter education concerning each proposed revision or amendment to be submitted to the electorate.

Amendments arising from legislative action are publicized according to this part of Section 3:

Upon such adoption, the proposed amendments shall be entered upon the journals, with the ayes and noes, and published once in each of four successive weeks in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each senatorial district wherein such a newspaper is published, within the two months' period immediately preceding the next general election....The conditions of and requirements for ratification of such proposed amendments shall be the same as provided in section 2 of this article for ratification at a general election.

Idaho

Main article: Article XX, Idaho Constitution

In relevant part, Section 1 says:

...it shall be the duty of the legislature to submit such amendment or amendments to the electors of the state at the next general election, and cause the same to be published without delay for at least three times in every newspaper qualified to publish legal notices as provided by law. Said publication shall provide the arguments proposing and opposing said amendment or amendments as provided by law..

Illinois

Main article: Article XIV, Illinois Constitution

In relevant part, Section 2 says:

Amendments proposed by the General Assembly shall be published with explanations, as provided by law, at least one month preceding the vote thereon by the electors. The vote on the proposed amendment or amendments shall be on a separate ballot.

Indiana

Main article: Article 16, Indiana Constitution

Indiana's Constitution has no public notice or notification requirements. In relevant part, Section 1 of Article 16 says:

If, in the General Assembly so next chosen, the proposed amendment is agreed to by a majority of all the members elected to each House, then the General Assembly shall submit the amendment to the electors of the State at the next general election.

Iowa

Main article: Article X, Iowa Constitution

In Iowa, a proposed amendment must be considered in two successive sessions of the Iowa State Legislature with an intervening election of state legislators. The publication notice in Iowa requires that the public be notified prior to the election of a new batch of state legislators if the previous session took positive action on a proposed amendment. However, once the new legislature has convened, if it also takes positive action on the amendment, resulting in the measure going on the ballot, there is no notification requirement prior to the actual time that the amendment will be voted on by Iowa's voters.

In relevant part, Section 1 of Article X says:

...such proposed amendment shall be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the legislature to be chosen at the next general election, and shall be published, as provided by law, for three months previous to the time of making such choice; and if, in the general assembly so next chosen as aforesaid, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to, by a majority of all the members elected to each house, then it shall be the duty of the general assembly to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people, in such manner, and at such time as the general assembly shall provide; and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of the constitution of this state.

Kansas

Main article: Article 14, Kansas Constitution

In relevant part, Section 1 of Article 14 says:

Propositions for the amendment of this constitution may be made by concurrent resolution originating in either house of the legislature, and if two-thirds of all the members elected (or appointed) and qualified of each house shall approve such resolution, the secretary of state shall cause such resolution to be published in the manner provided by law. At the next election for representatives or a special election called by concurrent resolution of the legislature for the purpose of submitting constitutional propositions, such proposition to amend the constitution shall be submitted, both by title and by the amendment as a whole, to the electors for their approval or rejection. The title by which a proposition is submitted shall be specified in the concurrent resolution making the proposition and shall be a brief nontechnical statement expressing the intent or purpose of the proposition and the effect of a vote for and a vote against the proposition.

Kentucky

Main article: Mode of Revision, Kentucky Constitution

Section 257 says:

Before an amendment shall be submitted to a vote, the Secretary of State shall cause such proposed amendment, and the time that the same is to be voted upon, to be published at least ninety days before the vote is to be taken thereon in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

Louisiana

Main article: Article XIII, Louisiana Constitution

In relevant part, Section 1 of Article XIII says:

...the secretary of state shall have the proposed amendment published once in the official journal of each parish within not less than thirty nor more than sixty days preceding the election at which the proposed amendment is to be submitted to the electors.

Maine

See also: Article X, Maine Constitution

In relevant part, Section 4 of Article X says:

...when any amendments shall be so agreed upon, a resolution shall be passed and sent to the selectmen of the several towns, and the assessors of the several plantations, empowering and directing them to notify the inhabitants of their respective towns and plantations, in the manner prescribed by law, at the next biennial meetings in the month of November, or to meet in the manner prescribed by law for calling and holding biennial meetings of said inhabitants for the election of Senators and Representatives, on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November following the passage of said resolve, to give in their votes on the question, whether such amendment shall be made;

Maryland

Main article: Article XIV, Maryland Constitution

In relevant part, Section 1 of Article XIV says:

The bill or bills proposing amendment or amendments shall be publicized, either by publishing, by order of the Governor, in at least two newspapers, in each County, where so many may be published, and where not more than one may be published, then in that newspaper, and in three newspapers published in the City of Baltimore, once a week for four weeks, or as otherwise ordered by the Governor in a manner provided by law, immediately preceding the next ensuing general election, at which the proposed amendment or amendments shall be submitted, in a form to be prescribed by the General Assembly, to the qualified voters of the State for adoption or rejection.

Massachusetts

Main article: Articles CI-CX, Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution#Article CVIII
The secretary of the commonwealth shall cause to be printed and sent to each person eligible to vote in the commonwealth or to each residence of one or more persons eligible to vote in the commonwealth the full text of every measure to be submitted to the people, together with a copy of the legislative committee's majority reports, if there be such, with the names of the majority and minority members thereon, a statement of the votes of the general court on the measure, and a fair, concise summary of the measure as such summary will appear on the ballot; and shall, in such manner as may be provided by law, cause to be prepared and sent other information and arguments for and against the measure.

Michigan

Main article: Article XII, Michigan Constitution

Article XII lays out the rules for both legislatively-referred constitutional amendments (Section 1) and initiated constitutional amendments (Section 2). Section 1 lists no requirements for notifying the public about legislatively-referred constitutional amendments, while Section 2 does lay out a specific requirement for notifying the public about proposed initiated constitutional amendments.

Section 2 of Article XII in relevant part says:

Such proposed amendment, existing provisions of the constitution which would be altered or abrogated thereby, and the question as it shall appear on the ballot shall be published in full as provided by law. Copies of such publication shall be posted in each polling place and furnished to news media as provided by law.

Minnesota

There is no specific publication requirement in Article IX of the Minnesota Constitution.

Mississippi

There is no specific publication requirement in Article XV of the Mississippi Constitution.

Missouri

See also: Article XII, Missouri Constitution

Section 2b of Article XII in relevant part says:

If possible, each proposed amendment shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks in two newspapers of different political faith in each county, the last publication to be not more than thirty nor less than fifteen days next preceding the election. If there be but one newspaper in any county, publication for four consecutive weeks shall be made.

Montana

See also: Article XIV, Montana Constitution

Section 9 says in relevant part:

...the secretary of state shall cause the amendment to be published as provided by law twice each month for two months previous to the next regular state-wide election.

Nebraska

See also: Article XVI, Nebraska Constitution, Article III, Nebraska Constitution

Section 1 of Article XVI says in relevant part:

...such proposed amendments shall be ... published once each week for three consecutive weeks, in at least one newspaper in each county, where a newspaper is published, immediately preceding the next election of ...

Nevada

See also: Article 16, Nevada Constitution, Article 19, Nevada Constitution

Article 16 does not require publication prior to the popular vote. Rather, it requires publication prior to the election of the members of the Nevada State Legislature who will vote on the proposed amendment after the legislative session in which it was first approved. The publication requirement does not say where the proposed amendment shall be published, only that it must be published.

...such proposed amendment or amendments shall be ...be published for three months next preceding the time of making such choice.

New Hampshire

There is no specific publication requirement in Article 100 of the New Hampshire Constitution

New Jersey

See also: Article IX, New Jersey Constitution

The New Jersey Constitution does not have a constitutionally mandated publication requirement for informing the state's public about a vote on a proposed amendment. However, it does have a constitutionally mandated publication requirement for informing New Jersey's state legislators about a vote on a proposed amendment.

In relevant part, Article IX says:

At least twenty calendar days prior to the first vote thereon in the house in which such amendment or amendments are first introduced, the same shall be printed and placed on the desks of the members of each house. Thereafter and prior to such vote a public hearing shall be held thereon.

New Mexico

See also: Article XIX, New Mexico Constitution

Article XIX says in relevant part:

The secretary of state shall cause any such amendment or amendments to be published in at least one newspaper in every county of the state, where a newspaper is published once each week, for four consecutive weeks, in English and Spanish when newspapers in both of said languages are published in such counties, the last publication to be not more than two weeks prior to the election at which time said amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the electors of the state for their approval or rejection; and shall further provide notice of the content and purpose of legislatively approved constitutional amendments in both English and Spanish to inform electors about the amendments in the time and manner provided by law. The secretary of state shall also make reasonable efforts to provide notice of the content and purpose of legislatively approved constitutional amendments in indigenous languages and to minority language groups to inform electors about the amendments.

New York

See also: Article XIX, New York Constitution

Article XIX does not require publication prior to the popular vote. Rather, it requires publication prior to the election of the members of the New York State Legislature who will vote on the proposed amendment after the legislative session in which it was first approved. The publication requirement does not say where the proposed amendment shall be published, only that it must be published.

In relevant part, Article XIX says:

...if the amendment or amendments as proposed or as amended shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, and the ayes and noes taken thereon, and referred to the next regular legislative session convening after the succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and shall be published for three months previous to the time of making such choice...

North Carolina

Article XIII, North Carolina Constitution

There are no constitutionally mandated publication requirements in Article XIII of the North Carolina Constitution.

North Dakota

See also: Article III, North Dakota Constitution and Section 16 of Article IV

There are no publication requirements in the North Dakota Constitution.

Ohio

See also: Section 1a, Article II, Ohio Constitution and Article XVI, Ohio Constitution

In relevant part Article XVI says:

Such proposed amendments, the ballot language, the explanations, and the arguments, if any, shall be published once a week for three consecutive weeks preceding such election, in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each county of the state, where a newspaper is published. The General Assembly shall provide by law for other dissemination of information in order to inform the electors concerning proposed amendments. An election on a proposed constitutional amendment submitted by the general assembly shall not be enjoined nor invalidated because the explanation, arguments, or other information is faulty in any way.

Oklahoma

See also: Section 1, Article V, Oklahoma Constitution and Article XXIV, Oklahoma Constitution

There are no publication requirements in the Oklahoma Constitution.

Oregon

See also: Section 1, Article IV, Oregon Constitution and Article XVII, Oregon Constitution

There are no publication requirements in the Ohio Constitution.

Pennsylvania

Main article: Article XI, Pennsylvania Constitution

Article XI says in relevant part:

...such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall causes the same to be published three months before the next general election, in at least two newspapers in every county in which such newspapers shall be published; and if, in the General Assembly next afterwards chosen, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each House, the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall cause the same again to be published in the manner aforesaid...

Rhode Island

Main article: Article XIV, Rhode Island Constitution

Article XIV says in relevant part:

...Any amendment thus proposed shall be published in such manner as the general assembly shall direct...

South Carolina

See also: Article XVI, South Carolina Constitution

There are no publication requirements in the South Carolina Constitution.

South Dakota

See also: Article XXIII, South Dakota Constitution

There are no publication requirements in the South Dakota Constitution.

Tennessee

Main article: Section 3 of Article XI of the Tennessee Constitution

Article XI does not require publication prior to the popular vote. Rather, it requires publication prior to the election of the members of the Tennessee State Legislature who will vote on the proposed amendment after the legislative session in which it was first approved. The publication requirement does not say where the proposed amendment shall be published, only that it must be published.

Article XI says in relevant part:

...such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals with the yeas and nays thereon, and referred to the General Assembly then next to be chosen; and shall be published six months previous to the time of making such choice...

Texas

Article 17, Texas Constitution

Section 1(b) of Article 17 says in relevant part:

A brief explanatory statement of the nature of a proposed amendment, together with the date of the election and the wording of the proposition as it is to appear on the ballot, shall be published twice in each newspaper in the State which meets requirements set by the Legislature for the publication of official notices of offices and departments of the state government. The explanatory statement shall be prepared by the Secretary of State and shall be approved by the Attorney General. The Secretary of State shall send a full and complete copy of the proposed amendment or amendments to each county clerk who shall post the same in a public place in the courthouse at least 30 days prior to the election on said amendment. The first notice shall be published not more than 60 days nor less than 50 days before the date of the election, and the second notice shall be published on the same day in the succeeding week. The Legislature shall fix the standards for the rate of charge for the publication, which may not be higher than the newspaper's published national rate for advertising per column inch.

Utah

Main article: Article XXIII, Utah Constitution

Section 1 of Article XXIII says in relevant part:

...such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their respective journals with the yeas and nays taken thereon; and the Legislature shall cause the same to be published in at least one newspaper in every county of the State, where a newspaper is published, for two months immediately preceding the next general election, at which time the said amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the electors of the State, for their approval or rejection...

Vermont

Main article: Amendment of the Constitution, Vermont Constitution

Section 72 says in relevant part:

Prior to the submission of a proposed amendment to a vote in accordance with this section, public notice of the proposed amendment shall be given by proclamation of the Governor.

Virginia

Reference: Article XII, Virginia Constitution

The Virginia Constitution does not mandate a publication requirement.

Washington

Article XXIII, Washington State Constitution

Section 1 of Article XXIII says in relevant part:

The legislature shall also cause notice of the amendments that are to be submitted to the people to be published at least four times during the four weeks next preceding the election in every legal newspaper in the state: Provided, That failure of any newspaper to publish this notice shall not be interpreted as affecting the outcome of the election.

West Virginia

Main article: Article XIV, West Virginia Constitution

Section 2 of Article XIV says in relevant part:

...it shall be the duty of the Legislature to provide by law for submitting the same to the voters of the state for ratification or rejection, at a special election, or at the next general election thereafter, and cause the same to be published, at least three months before such election in some newspaper in every county in which a newspaper is printed...

Wisconsin

See also: Article XII, Wisconsin Constitution

Article XII does not require publication prior to the popular vote. Rather, it requires publication prior to the election of the members of the Wisconsin State Legislature who will vote on the proposed amendment after the legislative session in which it was first approved. The publication requirement does not say where the proposed amendment shall be published, only that it must be published.

Any amendment or amendments to this constitution ...shall be published for three months previous to the time of holding [an election of members of the state legislators who will vote on the proposed amendment in the second legislative session in which it is taken up].

Wyoming

Main article: Article 20, Wyoming Constitution

Section 1 says in relevant part:

...it shall be the duty of the legislature to ... cause the same to be published without delay for at least twelve (12) consecutive weeks, prior to said election, in at least one newspaper of general circulation, published in each county.

See also

References

  1. One state (Delaware) does not hold public elections on proposed constitutional amendments.