Is this evidence?
The Anniston Star
In our opinion
04-07-2008

Opponents of constitutional reform argue that there is no clear evidence that the people of Alabama want it.

"Evidence" is in the eye of the beholder. However, it is safe to say that until now opponents have felt they could safely ignore cries for constitutional reform because there was little, if any, evidence of statewide support.

That may have changed.

A recent poll conducted by the Capital Survey Research Center found that a majority of Alabama citizens want the Legislature to pass pending legislation that would allow the people to vote on whether or not to hold a constitutional convention.

Though there may be some who want to vote so they can kill the idea once and for all, just about everyone agrees that most of the people who want a convention also want a new constitution.

It is significant that support for a vote was statewide and came from all categories. A majority of respondents in every region, regardless of party affiliation, church attendance, gender, race, age, income level or residential status (rural or urban) supported a vote. A higher percentage of Democrats (70.5 percent) want a vote, as opposed to Republicans (55.3 percent); that stands to reason, since 74.5 percent of blacks, one of the Democrats' core constituencies, are in favor of the measure. Among whites, 61.8 percent want to vote — no insignificant number.

Equally significant is that younger voters (ages 22 to 34) and voters nearing retirement (ages 56 to 65) support the vote. These groups represent Alabamians setting out in their careers and Alabamians inching toward the close of theirs. One represents the hope of the future, the other reflects the experience of age.

Two bills that would allow a convention vote are now in Senate and House committees. This survey provides clear evidence that they should be sent to the floor, passed and sent on to the governor. For those who want evidence of popular support, here it is.

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