What’s On the Ballot Tuesday

On Tuesday, November 6, Northwest Alabama residents will go to the polls to vote for their local and statewide representatives, including the governor and District 4 representative. In addition to the candidates, there are four proposed amendments to the state constitution to be decided by the public.

The first amendment for consideration would add language to the constitution to allow for the display of the Ten Commandments on public property.  One amendment would in the future protect unborn life, depending on a change by the U.S. Supreme Court. One would allow one person from each of the U.S. Congressional Districts to be appointed to the University of Alabama Board of Trustees. And the last is to eliminate certain elections, saving taxpayers dollars. 

The Alabama Supreme Court had ruled on a previous law which had enacted that was unconstitutional,” thus a vote by the people for a Constitutional Amendment written to hopefully comply with the edict of the Supreme Court.

The amendment provides that the biblical statutes may only be displayed if the display meets constitutional requirements, such as being displayed with historical or educational items.

Supposedly the law would also allow for displays of similar items from other religions in likewise circumstances. A different approach than before; it includes a broader context for other religions also.

The second amendment up for consideration would enshrine the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children within the state constitution, although the amendment does not identify any specific actions or activities as being unlawful.

Apparently, this is another amendment that was ruled unconstitutional by the Alabama Supreme Court in its prior form and the language has been changed in an attempt to comply with the Constitution.

This is an attempt to provide support for the rights of unborn children and could limit late-term abortions.

Alabama could become a  state which enshrines the right to life for unborn children if the Supreme Court ever decides abortion should be left up to the states. If the Supreme Court ever decides they are no longer going to have a federal mandate and they are going to allow states to define what is proper and what is not proper, we would be a state that would recognize in our constitution that we would be a pro-life state.

The third amendment allows for a representative from each of the congressional districts in Alabama, as they are set in 2018, to have a seat on the University of Alabama Board of Trustees. The amendment would also allow for board members to serve past their 70th birthdays and would no longer give the State Superintendent of Education an automatic seat on the board.

The fourth amendment would eliminate special elections to fill certain vacancies in either the House or the Senate. If a vacancy occurs after October 1 of the third year of a representative’s or senator’s four-year term, the seat would remain vacant until the next general election. This amendment is said to save taxpayers money by eliminating the cost of an election when it can wait.

The election will be held Tuesday, November 6. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Republican Wes Allen and Democrat Joel Williams are the nominees to represent District 89 in the House of Representatives. Other races on the ballot include the offices of governor and Alabama’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives, and here in the 4th Congressional District, Haleyville native, Robert Aderholt is running for reelection.