In fight over education funding initiative, words mean everything

For Initiative 42, the ballot title reads “Should the state be required to provide for the support of an adequate and efficient system of free public schools?”

The ballot title for the alternative will be “Should the Legislature provide for the establishment and support of effective free public schools without judicial enforcement?”

In a lawsuit settled last week where supporters of Initiative 42 were rebuked by the state Supreme Court in their efforts to change the ballot title for the alternative, Southern District Justice Michael Randolph complained that more information will not be available in the voting booth.

Randolph wrote that Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann should include the text of the current education provision in the Constitution and how that text will be changed if either the citizen-sponsored initiative or the legislative alternative is adopted.

“Is it unreasonable to reveal to each voter exactly what he or she is being asked to vote on?” Randolph asked. “It might be prudent for the secretary of state to consider additional disclosure on the actual ballot, to illuminate the issue and assist the voters.”

Daily Journal
8/16/15