Alabama voters will decide in 2020 whether or not the state legislature may recompile the state constitution

In Alabama, a 2020 ballot measure would, if approved, authorize the state legislature to recompile the state constitution during its 2022 regular session and also provide for its ratification.
According to the text of the proposed amendment, authorized changes to the constitution would include:
  • arranging it in proper articles, parts, and section;
  • removing all racist language;
  • delete duplicative and repealed provisions;
  • consolidate provisions regarding economic development; and
  • arrange all local amendments by county of application.
The amendment was introduced as House Bill 328 by Rep. Merika Coleman (D-57) on April 3, 2019. On April 25, the state House passed the amendment unanimously (101-0) with three representatives (two Republicans and one Democrat) absent or not voting. The measure was then amended and passed in the state Senate unanimously (30-0) with five senators (three Republicans and two Democrats) absent or not voting. On May 23, the state House concurred with the state Senate’s amendments and approved the bill unanimously (97-0) with seven representatives (four Republicans and three Democrats) absent or not voting.
As of May 28, one other constitutional amendment is on the ballot to be decided by Alabama voters in 2020. That measure would revise multiple sections of the state constitution concerning the state judiciary, including removing the authority of the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court to hire the administrative director of courts and instead giving that authority to the Alabama Supreme Court as a whole.
A total of 95 measures appeared on statewide ballots in Alabama from 1997 to 2018. During that time, the number of measures on the statewide ballot during even-numbered years ranged from four to 15. Between 1997 and 2018, about 81% (72 of 89) of the total number of measures that appeared on statewide ballots during even-numbered years were approved, and about 19% (17 of 89) were defeated.
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