An effort to rid Alabama's Constitution of segregation-era language appears to be losing by a slim margin after critics raised concerns that it could lead to a court-ordered tax increase for public schools.
With 99-percent of precincts reporting as the unofficial count neared completion today, Amendment Two was losing by about 3,400 votes out of 1.37 million cast. There were nearly 689,000 votes against it, and 685,508 votes for it.
Still to be counted were an unknown number of provisional ballots along with absentee ballots in some counties.
Gov. Bob Riley said if the amendment fails, he will offer a reworked version that eliminates the section that raised concerns of a tax increase.
The new part deleted a 1956 declaration that there is no right to an education at public expense in Alabama. Opponents said removing the section could allow a federal court to rule that education is a right and that Alabama must provide more funding through a tax increase.