Beyond the political contests on the November 8th ballot, Alabama voters will decide whether to adopt the Alabama Constitution of 2022, a recompiled version of the current constitution, as well as 10 statewide constitutional amendments. There will also be 19 other state constitutional amendments appearing on the ballots only in the county where those amendments apply.
Replacing the Alabama Constitution of 1901 has long been a goal of reformers. The current Constitution was adopted explicitly to guarantee White Supremacy in Alabama, by disenfranchising black and poor white voters, mandating segregated schools, and forbidding interracial marriage, among other provisions.
Such unconstitutional and repealed provisions will be gone from the Alabama Constitution of 2022. The constitution would also incorporate and reorganize the 978 amendments that have been made to the current constitution.
At the same time, the new constitution would preserve current law and practices that centralize power in the Legislature and require amendments to the state constitution for even mundane local matters. If the Alabama Constitution of 2022 is adopted, Alabama will still have the world’s longest constitution: more than three times the length of the next closest state.
PARCA’s new report, An Analysis of the Proposed Alabama Constitution of 2022 and the Statewide Amendments, details the proposal for the new constitution and the 10 amendments that will also be on ballots statewide.
As always, PARCA provides a high-level analysis of each statewide amendment. We study the ballot wording, but also the authorizing legislation behind the language. We do not make recommendations or endorsements, rather, we seek to understand the impact of the proposed changes and the rationales for them.
Voters can find sample ballots on the Secretary of State’s website, listed by county. The ballot language for the statewide and local constitutional amendments is also available on the site. Background material on the proposed Constitution can be found on the website of the Legislative Services Agency.
PARCA, Leadership Alabama, and Samford hosted a discussion of the proposed constitution Oct. 18, and a video recording of that event is available online.