Alabama's outdated 1901 Constitution continues to be a roadblock for solving local issues across the state.
It would be interesting to know how many miles Georgia Ann Conner and her entourage accumulate by the time they crisscross Alabama seeking support for an amendment on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The amendment affects no one but their remote community in Baldwin County. Because of the state's antiquated Constitution, however, every voter in Alabama can vote yes or no on the amendment.
Conner and the two other women who accompanied her to the TimesDaily office Tuesday are asking people to vote "yes" on Amendment 3. It would designate Stockton as a Landmark District. This would not cost state taxpayers any money, but would give the residents of Stockton the right to vote if a nearby city tries to annex their property.
This is no one's business but the people of Stockton. Then why must everyone in the state be given a voice in the issue?
Because Alabama's 1901 Constitution requires it. Local residents do not have a right to address local issues without permission from the power brokers in Montgomery. As a result, the state Legislature can get bogged down with local amendments when it should be spending its time and energy on statewide issues. Alabama's largest-in-the-nation Constitution has more than 850 amendments and growing.
Some members of the state Legislature are trying to rewrite our bloated Constitution article by article. Two amendments related to this move will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. We will address those amendments individually at a later date on the editorial pages.
It is a shame three women from Stockton have to appeal to more than 2.5 million voters in 67 counties rather than focusing on 24,053 in one county. It is a shame they have to drive 346 miles to the Shoals to lobby for voter support.
The same will happen to residents of the Shoals if they need statewide support to pass a local amendment.
Constitutional reform is not a sexy issue that voters follow very closely. But they should, as should the state legislators who represent them. For more information on reforming Alabama's Constitution, go to constitutionalreform.org.