Ballot measures look easy but still require thought

Think of the ballot measures in November’s election as simply complicated.
The simply part of that derives from the fact that voters are facing only two statewide measures on the ballot.
And one of them is a mere 17 words, while the other appears to be an easy call.
In recent elections, West Virginia voters have rarely faced more than one or two such measures.
Yet, in some past election years as many as five constitutional amendments were proposed in our state.
But despite the tersely worded Amendment 1 and the all-but-certain-to pass Amendment 2 it gets complicated, as such initiatives should be.
Just as it should be to get a bill passed by the Legislature or a local tax levy on the ballot.
As many readers are aware, judging by the volume of letters to the editor, Amendment 1 pushes a hot-button issue across the nation, abortion.
Amendment 2 gives the Legislature some oversight of the state judiciary’s budget, which doesn’t appear to be a hard call in light of recent scandals rocking the state’s highest court.
Amendment 1, the proposed “No Constitutional Right to Abortion Amendment,” is written as follows:
“Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”
Amendment 2, the “Judicial Oversight Budget Amendment,” runs to about 125 words, that shifts spending oversight to legislators.
Currently, the judiciary controls its own budget. The court system is spending about $139 million this year, a thin slice of state spending.
We’ll have more to say about both these measures as Election Day draws nearer. But in the interim, if you need a framework to assess such measures, consider this:

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