The Iowa State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse

This website provides news, pro & con, historical, and other information related to Iowa’s constitutionally mandated November 3, 2020 referendum on whether to call a state constitutional convention.






November 3, 2020

Constitutional Convention Referendum

  • A statewide referendum on whether to call a state constitutional convention. The constitutionally mandated question on the ballot is: “Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution, and propose amendment or amendments to same?”

Election of Convention Delegates

  • If voters call a convention, Iowa’s General Assembly must provide at its 2021 session for the election of delegates to it. Traditionally, delegates are elected from the same districts as House members. House members rarely run and are even less likely to win if they do. In some states, incumbent legislators are explicitly banned from running because the constitution doesn’t allow elected officials to hold two offices in different branches of the government. Allowing plural office holding not only violates the checks & balances principle of American constitutional government; it violates the modern democratic function of a state constitutional convention.

Ratification of Convention Proposal(s)

  • If voters call a convention and the convention proposes amendments, the General Assembly must provide voters the opportunity to approve or reject each proposal, just as they do with constitutional amendments they propose themselves. Iowa’s Constitution doesn’t specify the election date, but traditionally it is at the next general election after a convention adjourns, which would imply November 2022 for a convention called in November 2020.

Fact Check Signup

When major government, media, or advocacy entities make misleading claims about the history or democratic function of Iowa's periodic constitutional convention referendum, I will email to Fact Check subscribers my response. This is a free service.

--J.H. Snider, Editor
The Iowa State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse

Success! You are now subscribed to Fact Check.