Understand constitutional ballot questions

October 25, 2010 

Voters will be asked Nov. 2 to decide four ballot questions whose topics range from hunting and fishing to union voting to state spending

Here is an explanation of the four constitutional ballot questions and an explanation of what a "yes" vote means:

AMENDMENT 1

The question: Must Article I of the Constitution of this State, relating to the declaration of rights under the state's constitution, be amended by adding Section 25 so as to provide that hunting and fishing are valuable parts of the state's heritage, important for conservation, and a protected means of managing non-threatened wildlife; to provide that the citizens of South Carolina shall have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife traditionally pursued, subject to laws and regulations promoting sound wildlife conservation and management as prescribed by the General Assembly; and to specify that this section must not be construed to abrogate any private property rights, existing state laws or regulations, or the state's sovereignty over its natural resources?

Explanation: A "yes" vote means hunting and fishing will be a constitutional right for South Carolina residents and that state laws can govern wildlife management and conservation so long as they protect private property rights.

AMENDMENT 2

The question: Must Article II of the Constitution of this State, relating to the right of suffrage, be amended by adding Section 12 so as to provide that the fundamental right of an individual to vote by secret ballot is guaranteed for a designation, a selection, or an authorization for employee representation by a labor organization?

Explanation: A "yes" vote means casting secret ballots in a union vote is a constitutional right for workers.

AMENDMENT 3

The question: Must Section 36 (A), Article III of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to increase from three to five percent in increments of one-half of one percent over four fiscal years the amount of state general fund revenue in the latest completed fiscal year required to be held in the General Reserve Fund?

Explanation: A "yes" vote means the general reserve, or "rainy day" fund, would contain 5 percent of the state's revenue instead of the current 3 percent.

AMENDMENT 4

The question: Must Section 36(B), Article III of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to provide that monies from the Capital Reserve Fund first must be used, to the extent necessary, to fully replenish the applicable percentage amount in the General Reserve Fund?

Explanation: A "yes" vote means the capital reserve fund must be used to replenish the "rainy day" fund before it can be used for other purposes, such as softening the blow of mid-year budget cuts at state agencies.

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