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It's an election year. The state House — where all of the seats will be on the ballot — won't touch the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend no matter what; right or wrong, it won't touch it.

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Gertrude Ann Anderson, 79, died June 8, 2016, peacefully at her daughter’s home in Metlakatla.
Dolores Jean Houts, 87, died June 23, 2016, in Ketchikan.
Paul Douglas Askren III, 21, died June 16, 2016, in Ketchikan.
10/31/2012
Not needed

Alaska voters put the kibosh on the idea behind Ballot Measure No. 1 four times in 40 years.

The same outcome is expected on election day Tuesday.

Ballot Measure No. 1 asks: "Shall there be a constitutional convention?"

It's a very important question because the answer could be devastating or rewarding for Alaska.

It comes up every decade because delegates to the Alaska Constitutional Convention provided for it, believing the constitution should be reviewed periodically.

Voters approved the measure in 1970, but the courts threw out the result because of the way the measure was written, which was believed to have misled voters. Voters have voted down by large margins the newly worded and briefer measure every decade since the '70s.

The convention isn't necessary. Alaskans have handled changes to the constitution by adopting amendments, 28 of them to date. Each amendment deals with one issue, and 12 proposed amendments have failed. A convention would allow for review of the constitution in its entirety.

That brings risks: for example, the influences and financial power of special interest groups, some of which might be backed by out-of-state interests desiring to spread their philosophies and not those of Alaskans.

If a constitutional issue of sufficient import to Alaskans arises, then undoubtedly Alaskans will deal with it through an amendment, protecting the core of the highly regarded Alaska constitution.

It was wise of the delegates to provide a means to a convention. But it wasn't needed earlier and it isn't now.