Every 10 Years Iowa Voters Vote Yes Or No On Constitutional Convention

Statewide Iowa — The 2020 Iowa General Election ballot will ask voters for their choice of candidates for President, Senator and Congressman, but it also asks voters if there should be a convention to revise the state constitution. The question must be submitted to Iowa voters once every 10 years. Todd Pettys is a constitutional law professor at the University of Iowa.

(As above) “If you’re at all risk averse, the idea of a constitutional convention ought to be a very frightening thing,” Pettys says. “It’s really the appropriate thing to do only if you think the system is fundamentally broken and needs to be changed in lots of ways.” 

Pettys says voters in the 1920 election asked for a constitutional convention, but the legislature refused to follow through and organize one. Any changes convention delegates drafted ultimately would have to be approved by voters, but Pettys says delegates could propose dramatic changes in how Iowa government is structured.

(As above) “So you’re really opening up a Pandora’s Box,” he says, “and then whatever they propose, whatever document they come up with gets sent out to the people of Iowa to get voted on in one up or down vote.”

The state’s original — and only — constitution was ratified in 1857 and it includes a requirement that voters be asked every 10 years if they wish to hold a constitutional convention to consider changes to the document .There’s a SEPARATE process for proposing AMENDMENTS to the Iowa Constitution and, over the past 154 years, the state’s voters have approved 48 amendments.



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