Arizona’s Ever-Changing Constitution

What’s with all these propositions?

Arizona’s Constitution can be amended in 3 ways. The Legislature may vote to put a proposal on the ballot (Referendum). Second, the voters may submit a petition with the required number of signatures (Initiative).  Regardless of the means of getting on the ballot, if a majority votes for the proposition, it becomes law and the Constitution is changed. The 3rd method is for the Legislature to propose a Constitutional Convention. In that case, the voters must approve the Convention and any revisions that the Convention recommends. These routes to change our Constitution make for some vibrant, interactive, and often rowdy election cycles!

At the State of Arizona Research Library we have lots of materials about the Arizona Constitution. You can browse the Minutes or the Records of the Constitutional Convention of 1910.

 

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You can compare the Arizona Constitution with the U.S. Constitution with these publications from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

You can see how the Arizona Constitution has changed over the years at our Constitution Timeline here.

You can study the work of experts who have analyzed the Constitution by viewing these titles (and more) in our Reading Room or borrowing them through your public library via interlibrary loan. The Toni McClory book is also available for free as an ebook through Reading Arizona!

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And you can vote! There are 3 proposed Constitutional amendments on the ballot for the 2018 midterm election on November 6, 2018.  Here’s the publicity pamphlet for this year’s General Election.

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Arizona General Election Canvass

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan issued the official canvass of results for the 2016 General Election.

Secretary Reagan reported 2.6 million Arizonans voted in the general election, making it the highest number of ballots cast in state history.  While there were a historic number of votes, turnout was about average at 74% ranking 6th highest in Arizona history.

1.       1980       –    80.1%        Reagan – Carter
2.       2008       –    77.7%        Obama – McCain
3.       1992       –    77.2%        Clinton – Bush
4.       2004       –    77.1%        Bush – Kerry
5.       2012       –    74.4%        Obama – Romney
6.       2016       –    74.2%        Trump – Clinton

Demographically, women made up 55% of Arizona’s electorate while 18-24 year olds made up 6%.  The average age of the Arizona voter is 55.

For more, visit: https://www.azsos.gov/about-office/media-center/press-releases/1150

To see past election canvasses, check out the Arizona State Government Publications Collection on the Arizona Memory Project:

http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/ref/collection/statepubs/id/13234

Who invents voting machines?

votingmachinepatentWe often hear about some interesting inventions here at the State Library’s Patent and Trademark Resource Center, but every now and then we are reminded that something we take for granted like voting machines indeed have to be invented and can be the subject of patents. For more voting related patents, check out the latest issue of the Inventor’s Eye, from the USPTO.

https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/newsletter/inventors-eye/election-year-patents-rocked-vote

 

Passionate about an upcoming ballot measure?

InitiativeThe Arizona Secretary of State’s Office has just launched a new tool to allow citizens to submit their pro/con arguments for the election publicity pamphlets online!

“I would urge people who plan to file an argument to familiarize themselves with our unique filing system,” said Secretary Reagan. “The cut-off date to file an argument is July 13th, only one week after the filing deadline, so those who are interested must act quickly.”

The argument must be 300 words or less and should be written exactly how the filer wants it to appear in the publicity pamphlet, as it will be reproduced verbatim. Due to statutory requirements, the Secretary of State’s office in Phoenix must also receive a signed, notarized copy of the argument by 5:00 p.m. on July 13, 2016. The $75.00 fee will collected through the online portal at the time its submission.

For more information: http://www.azsos.gov/about-office/media-center/press-releases/941

To view the unofficial list of initiatives, referendums and recalls (measures not receiving a sufficient number of signatures  by July 7, 2016 will not appear on the ballot): http://apps.azsos.gov/election/2016/general/initiatives.htm

To submit your pro/con argument: http://apps.azsos.gov/election/2016/general/initiatives.htm

To view historic Publicity Pamphlets (past elections), check out the Arizona memory Project: http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/ref/collection/statepubs/id/10531