Sunday, October 17, 2004

The two constitutional questions on this year's Virginia ballot

There are two somewhat obscure constitutional amendments Virginia voters will consider on November 2:

1. Shall Section 6 of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to provide that members of the United States House of Representatives, Virginia Senate, and House of Delegates who are serving in the year following a new United States Census, when decennial redistricting is required, shall complete their terms of office and continue to represent the district from which they were elected for that term of office and that any vacancy during the term shall be filled from the same district that elected the member whose term is being filled?

2. Shall Section 16 of Article V of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to provide for additional possible successors to fill the office of Governor in the event of an emergency or enemy attack and until the House of Delegates is able to meet to elect a Governor?

The Connection newspapers have this article explaining what these two issues are about. The first adds three more offices to the order of succession if the governor, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, and the speaker of the House of Delegates all can't be governor as the result of a terrorist attack. The second has to do with the circumstance of filling vacancies to legislative offices that were redistricted, whether the voters of the old district or the new district get to chose the new legislator. The Roanoke paper opines here that both are good ideas.

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