• May 3, 2015

Iowa State Daily

Constitutional convention vote rejected

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Posted: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 11:02 pm | Updated: 12:13 am, Wed Nov 3, 2010.

Iowa voters elected to reject a proposed constitutional convention as a part of the midterm elections Tuesday.

The ballot read, “Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution, and propose amendment or amendments to same?”

The bill was rejected, receiving only 34 percent of the vote with 73 percent of precincts reporting at time of press.

The convention, if approved, would have given voters the opportunity to amend the state constitution in a more expedited manner, and might have given some rejected state bills a new life.

The option appears on ballots every 10 years. In 2000, the proposed convention was rejected, receiving only 32 percent of available votes.

At a constitutional convention, Iowa voters would have the chance to review previously rejected bills, such as House Joint Resolution 6, or HJR 6.

HJR 6 was the proposed bill that read, “Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state.” If that bill had been passed, it would have overruled the Iowa Supreme Court ruling Varnum v. Brien, which ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2009.

According to the Iowa Constitution, standard constitutional amendments must pass through both houses of the Iowa General Assembly with majority votes.

The bill is then placed on the ballot of the next general or special election to be voted on by Iowa voters.

However, the convention would have been made up of a legislature-appointed committee that would review and pass bills along to voters in a more expedited process than the traditional process.

The bill would skip the normally long and contested Iowa Assembly process, and the House would not have to review or approve the bills and they could be passed along to voters.

The convention could then be placed on a ballot in a special election as soon as next fall.

Iowa has never held a constitutional convention since being admitted to the union in 1846.

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