Items QCA voters could see on their ballot

Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 11:36 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Election Day is almost here and besides voting for candidates, voters in the QCA will have additional questions on their ballot.

If you plan to vote in Iowa, one question voters statewide will find is an option on holding a constitutional convention. The specific item is found at the end of the ballot and reads:

Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution, and propose amendment or amendments to same?

The state’s constitution requires this item be placed on the ballot every ten years. The governor must sign a proclamation ahead of the election, which Gov. Kim Reynolds did in September.

“I suppose the folks that originally drafted the Iowa constitution and put this provision in thought it’s probably a good idea to regularly review that aspect of well do we want changes of one sort or another,” Associate Professor Tim Hagle at the University of Iowa Dept. of Political Science said.

The item has not passed the previous five times it was on the ballot, but it’s still an option voters must decide on.

“It just gives people a chance to sort of think about it for a second or two and see if they want to have that convention if there are big changes they want to make, but for the most part the answer has been no,” Hagle said.

If you plan to vote in Illinois, a question on the ballot statewide asks voters about changing tax rules in the state’s constitution. If passed, it allows the state government to tax income differently than a flat tax. The state has already passed legislation that would change to a graduated income tax, where higher incomes pay a larger percentage.

“The legislature passed last year, the governor signed, a graduated income tax. and while you won’t see this on the ballot, you’re actually voting whether to authorize that specific piece of legislation,” Kent Redfield at the Institute for Gov. & Public Affairs, Univ. of Illinois-Springfield said.

The yes or no item on your ballot will say:

The proposed amendment grants the State authority to impose higher income tax rates on higher income levels, which is how the federal government and a majority of other states do it. The amendment would remove the portion of the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution that is sometimes referred to as the “flat tax,” that requires all taxes on income to be at the same rate. The amendment does not itself change tax rates. It gives the State the ability to impose higher tax rates on those with higher income levels and lower income tax rates on those with middle or lower income levels. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become a part of the Illinois Constitution.

For the proposed amendment of Section 3 of Article IX of the Illinois Constitution.

“If the voters do not approve the constitutional amendment, then that law, even though it’s been passed by the legislature and signed by the governor would be unconstitutional and couldn’t go into effect,” Redfield said.

Voters in Rock Island County specifically will see an advisory ballot measure on their ballots. The proposition reads:

Should the Illinois General Assembly protect a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms as defined by the second amendment of the United States Constitution.

“We’re talking about essentially advising the Illinois General Assembly that they should protect the second amendment,” Redfield said.

This item made its way on the ballot in Rock Island County by efforts from leaders in the county’s Republican Party.

“Let’s make sure our voices are heard. Because that’s what we’re asking for. It’s an advisory to our county board that says this is where the people of Rock Island County stand. Yes or no to protect our second amendment rights,” Russell Christ of the Rock Island County Republican Party said.

“It really doesn’t have any impact other than just advisory,” Redfield said.

Election Day is Nov. 3 and early voting has started in Illinois and Iowa. Check with your county election office for more information or click on our Decision 2020 tab.

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