Voters in the Great North will choose whether to hold a constitutional convention, which opponents say could open the door to restricting abortion rights.

Constitution
BillClark/Getty Images at The New Republic: Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has come out against her home state revising its founding documents with a new constitutional convention.

By Grace Segers


Alaskans face several critical decisions in this year’s midterm elections, voting on the reelection efforts of their sole representative in the U.S. House, a Democrat and the first Alaska Native in Congress; a moderate Republican senator facing a Trumpian opponent; and a hard-right GOP governor. Thanks to redistricting, 59 of the state legislature’s 60 seats in both chambers are also up for election.

But Alaskans face another important choice at the ballot box this year, one that is brought before them every decade but has earned new weight in recent months: whether to hold a constitutional convention to revise the state’s founding documents.

Nearly 70 years ago, dozens of delegates from across Alaska gathered in Fairbanks to write the state constitution. The document, written over three months in 1955 and 1956 and approved by the people in April 1956, became operative when Alaska achieved statehood in 1959. Many of the members of the delegation, which was comprised of 49 men and six women, were World War II veterans eager to earn representation in the country they had served. They pulled what they saw as the best elements of other state constitutions, adapting provisions for the unique dynamics of Alaska.

Read More: Anchorage Daily News