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Amending the Constitution

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By Sherry Robinson

Last year, the Legislature passed a proposed constitutional amendment, changing one word of the state Constitution. Its purpose is to make it easier to vote in local elections and considerably less expensive for local jurisdictions to hold those elections. The amendment will be on the ballot this coming November.
The amendment removes the obsolete restriction, written a century ago, that requires school elections to be held at different times from other elections. It changes the word “other” to “partisan.” If it passes, as I fervently hope it does, it will enable local jurisdictions to discuss the possibility of holding school and municipal elections together. It will also offer that option to special districts (such as water and sanitation districts), which get minimal voter participation because most voters don’t know enough about them and they can’t afford to advertise much.
I am a huge supporter of this change. I wrote about it last July. I mention it now as an example of an appropriate use for a constitutional amendment.
The only way to change something that is locked in the state Constitution is to amend the Constitution.


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