Maryland's Constitution mandates that every 20 years the General Assembly place a referendum on the ballot giving voters the opportunity to convene a state constitutional convention (con-con). If a majority of the voters approve, then the Assembly must provide for the election of con-con delegates (using the same electoral districts as the Assembly) and then another ballot referendum so the voters can ratify or reject the con-con's proposed constitutional amendments.
The Framers of Maryland's 1851 constitution inserted this self-executing provision in the Constitution because they knew that the Assembly would have a conflict of interest in convening a con-con to implement democratic reforms that did not enhance their power.
Prior to the most recent referendum on Nov. 2, 2010, not a single member of the General Assembly publicly supported a yes vote on the referendum. This was no surprise, as many legislators feared a con-con would lead to popular constitutional amendments that they strongly opposed, such as independent redistricting, legislative transparency, legislative term limits, and a balanced budget.
On Nov. 2, 2010, 54.4% of Marylanders voting on the question voted yes to convene a state con-con. But members of the General Assembly have refused to convene it, despite their claims to respect the will of their constituents, the original intent of the Framers and Ratifiers of the self-executing con-con provision, and their oath of office to uphold the Constitution.
Sign this petition to uphold Maryland's Constitution and the people's right to convene a state constitutional convention.
For more information, see www.MarylandConCon.org.
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