Voters voice opinions in amendments to state constitution
MADISON – During voting on midterm elections, Alabama voters indicated their preferences concerning four amendments to the state constitution.
One other amendment pertained solely to Madison County and allowing officials to control noise levels outside municipal boundaries.
* Statewide Amendment No. 1 —
“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, providing for certain religious rights and liberties; authorizing the display of the Ten Commandments on state property and property owned or administrated by a public school or public body; and prohibiting the expenditure of public funds in defense of the constitutionality of this amendment.” (Proposed by Act 2018-389)
Alabamians overwhelming approved the ‘Ten Commandments’ amendment by 72 percent (or 1,071,716 votes) to 28 percent (424,663 votes).
* Statewide Amendment No. 2 —
“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended; to declare that otherwise affirm that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful; and to provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” (Proposed by Act 2017-188)
This ‘right-to-live’ amendment indicates that Alabama will not protect the right to abortion. The amendment has close ties to the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The amendment passed by 59 percent (896,446 votes) to 41 percent (624,165).
* Statewide Amendment No. 3 —
“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, relating to the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama, to specify that the congressional districts from which members are appointed continue to reflect those as constituted on January 1, 2018, to remove the State Superintendent of Education from membership, and to delete the requirement that members vacate office at the annual meeting of the board following their seventieth birthday.” (Proposed by Act 2018-132)
State voters agreed to proposed limits on personnel who serve on the UA Board of Trustees — 60 percent (818,513 votes) in favor, 40 percent (539,682) against.
* Statewide Amendment No. 4 —
“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that, if a vacancy in either the House, the seat would remain vacant until a successor is elected at the next succeeding of Representatives or the Senate occurs on or after October 1 of the third year of a quadrennium general election.” (Proposed by Act 2018-276)
This amendment passed with 66 percent (954,839 votes) to 34 percent (490,060).
* Local amendment to allow Madison County to control noise nuisances —
“Relating to Madison County and the areas outside the corporate limits of any municipality, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to authorize the county commission to adopt ordinances or resolutions to prohibit excess noise, to regulate, limit, and control excess noise levels, and to control public nuisance caused by excess noise levels in the unincorporated areas of Madison County and to authorize penalties not to exceed the penalties for a class C misdemeanor.” (Proposed by Act 2018-167)
Madison County voters approved the amendment to control excessive noise in unincorporated areas by 65 percent (or 81,094 votes) to 35 percent (44,118 votes).