Voters approve amendments on Ten Commandments, rights of the unborn


November 9, 2018

Alabama voters showed their support for the unborn and the Ten Commandments when they went to the polls Nov. 6.
State Amendment No. 1 authorizing the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings in compliance with federal constitutional requirements passed by a nearly three quarters majority. The amendment prohibits the use of public funding to support legal challenges to the amendment and includes language affirming the right of each person to freely worship God as he or she chooses with no effect on his or her civil or political rights.

Importance of life

State Amendment No. 2 also passed, with approximately 60 percent voting in favor of adding language to the Alabama State Constitution to recognize the importance of unborn life. The amendment makes clear that unborn children have the right to life and makes it public policy to support the sanctity of the unborn. The amendment also includes language clarifying that the state constitution does not include a right to abortion or require the funding of an abortion using public funds.

The amendment does not ban abortion in Alabama but could have significance if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, said Joe Godfrey, executive director of Alabama Citizens Actions Program.

“If Roe v. Wade is ever overturned or if the Supreme Court sends it back to the states to decide, the state Legislature will know the people of Alabama want restrictions on abortion,” Godfrey said.

State Amendment No. 3 passed with approximately 60 percent of the vote. The amendment addresses the appointment of members to the University of Alabama board of trustees.

State Amendment No. 4 passed with support from 66 percent of voters. The amendment prevents special elections for any statewide political office vacancies occurring within approximately a year of a general election.

Nationally voters responded to measures on abortion, marijuana and gambling with mixed results.

West Virginia also amended its constitution to prohibit the use of public funds to pay for abortions and to include language that the state does not recognize a woman’s right to abortion. Voters in Oregon rejected a state constitutional amendment that would limit abortion funding to mothers whose lives are in danger or who have suffered rape or incest.

Marijuana, gambling

Michigan became the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana use, but North Dakota voters rejected recreational marijuana use.

Florida, which has 11 of the nation’s 17 active dog tracks, voted to phase out gambling on greyhound races by 2020.
Missouri voters lessened restrictions on charitable bingo games, and Maryland secured certain gambling revenues for education. Arkansas voters gave their approval to allow casinos in four counties.

Louisiana approved a fantasy sports measure that will be enforceable only in parishes where the measure passed. (TAB, BP)

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