BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Ten amendments to the Alabama constitution are on the ballot tomorrow across Alabama. In some counties, additional local amendments may appear on the ballot as well. Below are explanations of each statewide amendment.
The first question on each Alabama voter’s ballot regarding the state constitution asks Alabamians to vote “yes” or “no” on whether to adopt changes that rearranged the state’s governing document, removed racist language, and deleted duplicated and repealed sections.
Amendment 1 – Historically in Alabama, reasonable bail had been required for those accused of crimes in all cases except those that may result in the death penalty. This amendment would allow judges to deny reasonable bail when a person is accused of any of the following crimes: murder, aggravated child abuse, sexual torture, and terrorism, as well as first-degree kidnapping, rape, sodomy, domestic violence, human trafficking, burglary, arson, and robbery.
Amendment 2 – The Alabama Constitution forbids local governments from providing public dollars to private companies unless voters approve an exception. This amendment would allow the state and local governments to award taxpayer money to public or private companies to expand access to broadband internet.
Amendment 3 – The amendment would require the Governor to notify the Attorney General and the victim’s family before granting a commutation or reprieve of a death sentence. Failing to provide this notification, the amendment says, would nullify the commutation or reprieve.
Amendment 4 – This amendment says that during an election year, any laws about elections should be passed at least six months before the election takes place.
Amendment 5 – This amendment removed language in the state constitution that gives county probate courts power over “orphan’s business.” These courts would continue to be responsible for adoptions and other services.
Amendment 6 – This amendment would allow cities that collect a particular property tax to pay off bonds and other debt service “at they go” instead of going into debt.
Amendment 7 – This amendment aims to clarify that all counties — not just some — can spend public money to support economic development projects.
Amendment 8 – This amendment is on the ballot across the state, but it only impacts Shelby County. It would bring certain privately owned sewer systems that use public rights-of-way under the power of the state’s Public Service Commission.
Amendment 9 – This amendment is on the ballot across the state, but it only impacts Jefferson and Tuscaloosa Counties. Like Amendment 8, it would bring certain privately owned sewer systems under the power of the state’s Public Service Commission.
Amendment 10 – This amendment says that if voters approve the updated version of the Alabama Constitution (deleting racist language, reordering amendment, etc.) that any new amendments will also be organized in a similar manner.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day. You’ll need a valid, government-issued ID to vote.
To see the actual text of each amendment and to view any local amendments, view your sample ballot by clicking the county you live in on the Secretary of State’s website here.
In Alabama, you must be registered in order to vote on election day. You can check your registration status and find your polling place (the place you go to vote on election day) by clicking here.