Voters asked to approve reorganization of Alabama’s constitution

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 7:15 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama has one of the longest constitutions in the world. In 2020, voters gave the legislature the authority to reorganize the 1901 constitution; Alabamians have the chance to shorten it with a vote scheduled for this November’s election.

This is some of the wording that’ll you’ll see on the ballot in November.

“Shall the following recompilation of the constitution of Alabama of 1901 be ratified,” said Nancy Eckberg with Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform. “And then under that will appear these words proposing adoption of the Constitution of Alabama of 2022.”

Eckberg says reorganizing the constitution will make it more user-friendly.

“This is the constitution reflecting who we are as Alabamians today in 2022,” she added.

Eckberg applauds State Representative Merika Coleman for sponsoring the legislation.

“People should not be fearful that it has been a rewrite,” said Eckberg. “It’s not.”

The new document will:

  • Rearrange to place similar subjects together
  • Remove racist language
  • Delete repeated portions
  • Put economic development amendments together
  • Arrange local amendments by county

But eventually, some want deeper change. Evan Milligan says the state’s constitution has a racist past.

“From the Constitutional Convention, he says on record, ‘We are here to enshrine white supremacy by law’,” said Millian.

Milligan has a song titled 1901 about the state’s constitution.

“Country boy, city girl, either way, don’t pay him,” said Milligan. “Because it’s all about money. And we’re the commodities.”

He believes voters should approve the new document, and the state should look again at changing its foundation.

“We need to have a convention to write something that allows our counties just to govern themselves, that allows us to raise the type of tax revenue we need,” said Milligan.

Voters will also see Amendment 10 on the ballot. If approved, any new amendments passed will be properly organized into the newly organized state constitution.

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