Commission Crafts Voter-Friendly Ballot Measure Language

MONTGOMERY, Ala– In November, Alabama voters will determine the fate of five proposed changes to the State’s Constitution, and with the work of the newly-created Fair Ballot Commission, voters can better understand the measures on which they’re voting.

The Commission was tasked with writing plain language explanations of each proposed Constitutional Amendment to be made available to voters two months prior to the election.

“The wording that appears on the ballot can be confusing. It is often written by lawyers, and most people don’t speak in such technical terms. Our goal is to communicate, in layman’s terms, what the Constitutional Amendments are all about and what will happen if the proposed amendments are passed or defeated so that voters have a clear understanding before they enter the voting booth,” said Will Sellers, Commission Chair.

The voter-friendly ballot measure language is posted on the Alabama Legislature website: Click on the “Statewide Ballot Measures” link to find the plain language explanation, plus the language of the proposed amendment that will appear on the ballot.

The proposed Constitutional Amendments include questions about funding for National Guard armories, unfunded educational mandates, Alabamians’ protection from foreign law, and citizens’ rights to bear arms and to hunt and fish.

The Fair Ballot Commission was created during the 2014 Regular Legislative Session by a bill sponsored by Rep. Steve McMillan (R-Bay Minette) and Sen. Trip Pittman (R-Mobile).

“I’m pleased that the Commission was able to accomplish its assignment. I’m anxious to see how the reaction to this process compares to the old process when so many people did not understand the issues that were the ballot,” said Rep. McMillan.

“Sometimes people don’t vote on issues because they don’t understand them or there’s confusion about what a ‘yes’ vote means. I appreciate the work of the Commission to implement the legislation and hope the plain language explanations result in a more educated voting population and higher voting rate,” said Sen. Pittman.

The 15-member Commission included several Constitutional Officers, or their designees, as well as their appointments of one attorney and one private citizen.

The General Election is November 4, 2014.

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