Westerfield v. Ward

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Justia Opinion Summary

The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court that invalidated the submission of a proposed constitutional amendment to Kentucky voters in a single-sentence ballot question, holding that the proposed amendment as submitted to the voters in the form of the present ballot question was invalid.

Senate Bill 3 (SB 3) was delivered to the Secretary of State (Secretary) to be published and submitted to the electorate at the November 6, 2018 election. Appellees brought this action seeking a declaration that the ballot question failed to inform the voters adequately of the substance of the amendment. The circuit court agreed and allowed the question to appear on the ballot but enjoined the Secretary from certifying the ballots cast for or against the proposed amendment. The Supreme Court held (1) section 256 of the Kentucky Constitution requires the general assembly to submit the full text of a proposed constitutional amendment to the electorate for vote and requires the Secretary to publish the full text of the proposed amendment at least ninety days before the vote; and (2) the proposed amendment was void in this case because the form of the amendment submitted to the electorate for a vote was not the full text.

Primary Holding

The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court that invalidated the submission of a proposed constitutional amendment to Kentucky voters in a single-sentence ballot question, holding that the proposed amendment as submitted to the voters in the form of the present ballot question was invalid.

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