Voters Say No No to Con Con

In an election year where change was a buzzword,  voters decided that now wasn't the time change the Illinois constitution.

With 67 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, more than 67 percent of voters voted "no" on a referendum on the issue, while about 32 percent voted "yes."

The referendum ballot asked voters whether the state should call a constitutional convention. The statewide question is required every 20 years.

Proponents said a constitutional convention would liberate Illinois from gridlocked state politics. Opponents argue a convention would result in unnecessary changes pushed by interest groups.

Last month, a judge ruled that wording on the ballot explaining the referendum was false and biased. He ordered poll workers to hand out notices about the language.

If passed, voters will go back to the polls to elect convention delegates. Any changes drawn up by delegates would go back to Illinois voters for final approval.

Voters rejected the same question by a 3-1 margin the last time it was on the ballot, in 1988, and opponents including the League of Women Voters, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau and AFL-CIO of Illinois raised some $600,000 to argue against a convention this time around.

The last Illinois convention was held in 1969, where delegates crafted a far-reaching bill of rights while streamlining and eliminating archaic laws and language.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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