State Constitutions

Table 1.6
Procedures for Calling Constitutional Conventions, Constitutional Provisions

State or other
Provision for
Procedure for
calling a convention
by initiative
Legislative vote for
submission of convention
question (a)
Popular vote
to authorize
Periodic submission
of convention
question required (b)
Popular vote required
for ratification of
convention proposals
AlabamaYesNoMajorityMENoNot specified
AlaskaYesNoNo provision (c)(d)(c)10 years; 2012 (c)Not specified (c)
ConnecticutYesNo2/3MP20 years; 2008 (f)MP
DelawareYesNo2/3MPNoNo provision
FloridaYesYes (m)(g)MPNo3/5 voting on proposal
HawaiiYesNoNot specifiedMP10 years; 2018MP (h)
IdahoYesNo2/3MPNoNot specified
IllinoisYesNo3/5(i)20 years; 2008MP
IowaYesNoMajorityMP10 years; 2020MP
KentuckyYesNoMajority (j)MP (k)NoNo provision
MaineYesNo(d)NoNoNo provision
MarylandYesNoMajorityME20 years; 2010MP
MichiganYesNoMajorityMP16 years; 2010MP
MinnesotaYesNo2/3MENo3/5 voting on
MissouriYesNoMajorityMP20 years; 2002Not specified (l)
MontanaYesYes (m)2/3MP20 years; 2010MP
NebraskaYesNo3/5MP (o)NoMP
NevadaYesNo2/3MENoNo provision
New HampshireYesNoMajorityMP10 years; 20122/3 voting on proposal
New JerseyNoNoNo
New MexicoYesNo2/3MPNoNot specified
New YorkYesNoMajorityMP20 years; 2017MP
North CarolinaYesNo2/3MPNoMP
North DakotaNoYes (m)No
OhioYesNo2/3MP20 years; 2012MP
OklahomaYesNoMajority(e)20 years; 1970MP
OregonYesNoMajority(e)NoNo provision
Rhode IslandYesNoMajorityMP10 years; 2014MP
South CarolinaYesNo(d)MENoNo provision
South DakotaYesYes (m)(d)NoNo(p)
TennesseeYes (q)NoMajorityMPNoMP
WashingtonYesNo2/3MENoNot specified
West VirginiaYesNoMajorityMPNoNot specified
WisconsinYesNoMajorityMPNoNo provision
WyomingYesNo2/3MENoNot specified
American SamoaYesNo(r)NoNoME (s)
CNMI*YesYes (t)Majority2/310 yearsMP and at least 2/3 in in each of 2 senatorial district
Puerto RicoYesNo2/3MPNoMP
Source: John Dinan and The Council of State Governments

CNMI* — Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
MP — Majority voting on the proposal.
ME — Majority voting in the election.

(a) In all states not otherwise noted, the entries in this column refer to the proportion of members elected to each house required to submit to the electorate the question of calling a constitutional convention.
(b) The number listed is the interval between required submissions on the question of calling a constitutional convention; where given, the date is that of the most recent submission of the mandatory convention referendum.
(c) Unless provided otherwise by law, convention calls are to conform as nearly as possible to the act calling the 1955 convention, which provided for a legislative vote of a majority of members elected to each house and ratification by a majority vote on the proposals. The legislature may call a constitutional convention at any time.
(d) In these states, the legislature may call a convention without submitting the question to the people. The legislative vote required is two-thirds of the members elected to each house in Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Virginia; two-thirds concurrent vote of both branches in Maine; three-fourths of all members of each house in South Dakota; and not specified in Alaska, but bills require majority vote of membership in each house.
(e) The law calling a convention must be approved by the people.
(f) The legislature shall submit the question 20 years after the last convention, or 20 years after the last vote on the question of calling a convention, whichever date is last.
(g) The power to call a convention is reserved to the people by petition.
(h) The majority must be 50 percent of the total voted cast at a general election or at a special election, a majority of the votes tallied which must be at least 30 percent of the total number of registered voters.
(i) Majority voting in the election, or three-fifths voting on the question.
(j) Must be approved during two legislative sessions.
(k) Majority must equal one-fourth of qualified voters at last general election.
(l) Majority of those voting on the proposal is assumed. Vote must take place at a special election held no less than 60 days and no more than 6 months after convention.
(m) In Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, conventions can be called by initiative petition in the same manner as provided for initiated amendments (see Table 1.3), and with approval by a majority of voters. In Florida, conventions can be called by filing an initiative petition with signatures equal to 15 percent of the votes cast in the preceding presidential election and also equal to 15 percent of signatures in half of the congressional districts in the state and then obtaining a majority of the voters at the ensuing election.
(n) Two-thirds of all members of the legislature.
(o) Majority must be 35 percent of total votes cast at the election.
(p) Convention proposals are submitted to the electorate at a special election in a manner to be determined by the convention. Ratification by a majority of votes cast.
(q) Conventions may not be held more often than once in six years.
(r) Five years after effective date of constitutions, governor shall call a constitutional convention to consider changes proposed by a constitutional committee appointed by the governor. Delegates to the convention are to be elected by their county councils. A convention was held in 1972.
(s) If proposed amendments are approved by the voters, they must be submitted to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior for approval.
(t) The petition must be signed by 25 percent of the qualified voters or at least 75 percent in a senatorial district.