Vote this fall on constitutional convention

The Rhode Island State House in Providence.
The Rhode Island State House in Providence.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island voters will soon decide whether the state constitution needs a makeover — or whether holding a constitutional convention to consider changes to it could cause more harm than good.

Voters will be asked this fall whether they want to call the state’s first convention in 30 years. The current constitution requires that voters have the opportunity to call a convention every decade. The last two times they were asked they rejected the idea.

Groups like Operation Clean Government say it’s time to change the constitution to strengthen ethics oversight of lawmakers and prohibit straight-ticket voting. But others including the American Civil Liberties Union worry convention delegates might pursue a narrow agenda and distort the constitution to serve their own interests.

Voters would have to approve any proposed amendments.

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