An Open Letter to Writers of Louisiana Constitutional Amendments

Dear creators of constitutional amendments,

You’re trying to trick us again, aren’t you? Even if you’re not sure, it seems so. Have you read these eight amendments for the people to vote on in Tuesday’s elections?

Rally at Louisiana Capitol to protest house arrest and economic shutdown

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Of course you wrote them. That’s why you wrote them the way you did. You have the advantage and I daresay there aren’t too many in committee who have conjured up these amendments who would classify themselves as early school leavers, are there?

However, it is possible that almost ten percent of voters will support these amendments. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that the majority of registered voters in the state won’t be able to fully understand these “major amendments to our Constitution” because of the way they’re written.

I took the opportunity to include the wording of just one amendment on an online site that determines the reading level for the sheet music on which it is written. The website used several methods to score the passage, one method suggested the word choice was presented at a 10.5 grade reading level, while another suggested the word choice would be more appropriate for those reading at a 10.5 grade level 13th grade reading.

Although the overall score awarded by the website suggested that the passage’s “readability” was at 10th grade, the website noted that the passage was “difficult to read” for students at that level.

Y’all, the majority of people in Louisiana don’t read at this level. It is estimated that 21% of adults nationwide are illiterate and 54% of adults in sixth grade have difficulty reading. In other words, the torrent of your constitutional amendments is hanging over the heads of most of us who have the right to vote.

That means we really don’t know what we’re voting for or against, and whether the language is written so that a “no” vote actually means yes and a “yes” vote actually means no. You guys are sneaky and you do things like that far too often in these amendments, at least that’s my opinion.

WWLTV via YouTube

WWLTV via YouTube

How about a constitutional amendment?

All constitutional amendments must be written for a reading level one level below the state average reading level. In other words, if the majority of Louisiana residents read at a ninth-grade level, changes must be written at an eighth-grade level.

And when you say, “We can’t draft amendments without legal phrases and ambiguities,” you’re committing to increasing the state’s literacy rate, rather than choosing to “fantasy talk” spoil Louisiana’s future by offering these changes that only the scholars and those entitled to understand can make a huge profit.

@LouisianaGov, Twitter

@LouisianaGov, Twitter

Or maybe you’re content to be dumbed down by your nemesis, The Media. But if you do, you risk a “spin” against your pet projects. So that probably wouldn’t work either.

We can’t do better until we’re ALL better. At least that’s my two cents. I’m sure one of you will find a way to pocket this money for your campaign fund.

Not-So-Nice Nicknames for 10 Louisiana Cities

Nicknames are a wonderful thing if you happen to get the right one. That’s the problem with nicknames, you can’t choose your own. So, depending on the type of people you date, your pseudonym is either a flattering reference to a quality you possess. Or it’s a sarcastic reminder of your shortcomings. The same rules apply to the nicknames we use for the communities we love. Although with some of these nicknames I’m not sure I can feel the love tonight, or any night at all. An Open Letter to Writers of Louisiana Constitutional Amendments

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