Opinion

August 7, 2014

Your November ballot, simplified (at least the questions)

On Tuesday, we ran an editorial calling on the state’s Constitutional Ballot Commission to write easy-to-understand explanations to add to the November ballots for the two constitutional amendments we’ll be voting on.

On Tuesday, we ran an editorial calling on the state’s Constitutional Ballot Commission to write easy-to-understand explanations to add to the November ballots for the two constitutional amendments we’ll be voting on.

On Wednesday, the panel did precisely that, using surprisingly clear language. Here, from the State Election Commission’s web site, are the amendments themselves, followed by those explanations.

The following Constitutional Amendment Questions will appear on ballots in the November 4, 2014, General Election:

Amendment 1

Must Section 7, Article XVII of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to provide that a raffle is not a lottery prohibited by this section, if the raffle is conducted by a nonprofit organization for charitable, religious, fraternal, educational, or other eleemosynary purposes, and the general law defines the type of organization authorized to operate and conduct the raffles, provides standards for the operation and conduct of the raffles, provides for the use of proceeds for charitable, religious, fraternal, educational, or other eleemosynary purposes, provides penalties for violations, and provides for other laws necessary to ensure the proper functioning, honesty, and integrity of the raffles, but in the absence of any general law, then the raffle remains a prohibited lottery?

Explanation

A 'Yes' vote will allow certain nonprofit organizations to conduct raffles and use the proceeds for charitable, religious, or educational purposes.

A 'No' vote maintains the current law that considers a raffle to be a lottery and is prohibited.

Amendment 2

Must Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution of this State relating to state constitutional officers and Section 4, Article XIII relating to the Adjutant General and his staff officers be amended so as to update references to his title; to provide that the position of Adjutant General is recognized as holding the rank of Major General, as opposed to Brigadier General; to provide that upon the expiration of the term of the Adjutant General serving in office on the date of the ratification of this provision, the Adjutant General must be appointed by the Governor, upon the advice and consent of the Senate; to provide that the appointed Adjutant General serve for a term not coterminous with the Governor and may be removed only for cause; and to require the General Assembly to provide by law for the term, duties, compensation, and qualifications for office, the procedures by which the appointment is made, and the procedures by which the Adjutant General may be removed from office?

Explanation

A 'Yes' vote will require, beginning in 2018, the Adjutant General be appointed by the Governor with consent of the Senate. The General Assembly will set the term, duties, compensation and qualifications for office and procedures by which appointment is made and how an Adjutant General can be removed from office.

A 'No' vote maintains the current method of electing an Adjutant General.

Unfortunately, the commission didn’t do anything -- nor can it legally do anything -- to help out voters in Lexington County, who will have to plow through a 20-page ballot because of the County Council chose to call a referendum on raising the sales tax to pay for 93 construction projects, and the Legislature requires an explanation of each project.

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