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Ask The Answer Person: What is "Public Measure 1" on the November 3rd ballot?

Posted: Mon, Sep 14, 2020 12:25 PM

Chuck e-mails: "One of the items on the ballot for the general election is Public Measure 1 asking if a convention to revise the constitution should be held.  Are there any possible amendments that are in line that they are asking for a convention to ratify or are they simply asking for this to cover a possible future need?"

The Answer Person says, "According to, 'Public Measure 1 appears on the Iowa ballot automatically every 10 years as per the state constitution. This provision has been in the constitution since its inception in 1857.'

November's ballot issue only involves holding a convention to discuss modifications to the state constitution.  If an amendment is approved in convention, it would go on the ballot in an upcoming election.  Any change in the constitution would have to be approved by a majority of voters voting on the question (rather than a majority of voters voting in the election) in order to become part of the state constitution.

Here's an interesting fact from The last five constitutional convention questions in Iowa have been rejected by an average percentage of 64 percent 'no' votes to 36 percent 'yes' votes."