The Path to a Constitutional Convention
“Shall there be a convention to amend or revise the Constitution?”
The Rhode Island constitution requires the Secretary of State to place such a question on the ballot every 10 years. In 2004, this ballot initiative was narrowly defeated, 52:48 percent. In 1984, Ocean State voters did approve a convention. This year, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity expects a similar ballot question — to convene a statewide constitutional convention — to be approved by Ocean State voters in the upcoming 2014 November elections.
If the question is approved by voters in 2014, the rules that will govern the constitutional convention (more simply referred to as the “ConCon”) will be determined by the state’s General Assembly in 2015, beginning with how delegates will be elected — at least one for each of the 75 House districts — in a specially scheduled general election. The convention will then convene for a specified length of time, with various constitutional amendment measures to be considered and approved by delegates. Finally, all ConCon-approved amendment measures will be put forth for approval from voters as future ballot initiatives.
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