Amendment on ballot to remove racist language from constitution - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Amendment on ballot to remove racist language from Ala. constitution

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On the back of the ballot, there will be a wordy paragraph on Amendment 4, asking to repeal what's considered racist language from the state's constitution. On the back of the ballot, there will be a wordy paragraph on Amendment 4, asking to repeal what's considered racist language from the state's constitution.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Election Day is weeks away, but when Alabamians head to the polls November 6, there are plenty more decisions to make than just the Presidential race.

There's the chief justice race, county commission races and 11 amendments.

Amendment 4 tackles the touchy issue over racist language that's still buried in the state's constitution.

"Separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race," is an actual line from Alabama's current constitution.

On the back of the ballot, there will be a wordy paragraph on Amendment 4, asking to repeal what's considered racist language from the state's constitution.

Lawmakers tried repealing it once before in 2004, but it failed.

Many speculate it was because voters believed the amendment lumped in a tax hike for the state.

"However, across the country and across the world, the people didn't know the full story. All they read was Alabama votes to keep segregationist language in its state's constitution, which I don't believe fairly portrays Alabama in the 21st century," said Senator Arthur Orr.

Orr pushed for the amendment to return to the ballot in 2012.

"It's time once and for all to settle this issue and move on. Even though it's a technical detail, it's an important detail," added Orr.

"If wording on the ballot was a straight forward remove this from the constitution without any conditions or requirements, like they did last time, I say cut it out get rid of it as quick as possible," said voter Willard Holmes.

Orr said it comes down to the message it can send to other states and internationally because it could be taken wrong if it comes to luring businesses to the state.

"We are a different Alabama than we were 50 years ago," said Orr.

A "yes" vote will repeal the language.

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