Guamanian referendum, 1979

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A two-part referendum was held in Guam on 4 August 1979. A proposed new constitution was rejected by 82% of voters, whilst a law introducing the death penalty was rejected by 53% of voters.[1] In August 1987 a referendum was held on another proposed constitution, with each chapter voted on separately. Two chapters (I and VII) were rejected by voters, resulting in a second referendum in November in which both were approved.

Background[edit]

On 21 October 1976 the United States Congress had approved the establishment of Constitutional Councils for Guam and the United States Virgin Islands.[2]In December 1976 the Guamanian Legislature decided to hold an election for the Council.[2]

In 1978 US President Jimmy Carter approved the proposed 14-chapter constitution, and a referendum was scheduled for 7 November.[2] However, following a dispute over the gubernatorial election, it was postponed until 1979.[2]

Results[edit]

Do you approve the proposed constitution for the Territory of Guam?

Choice Votes %
For 2,367 18.15
Against 10,671 81.85
Invalid/blank votes 118
Total 13,156 100
Registered voters/turnout 27,606 47.66
Source: Guam Election Commission

Do you approve of a law instituting the death penalty for a person convicted of first degree murder under aggravating circumstances?

Choice Votes %
For 6,002 46.61
Against 6,876 53.39
Invalid/blank votes 278
Total 13,156 100
Registered voters/turnout 27,606 47.66
Source: Guam Election Commission

References[edit]

  1. ^ Election Comparative Analysis Report Guam Election Commission, pp56–57
  2. ^ a b c d Guam (USA), 4 August 1979: Constitution Direct Democracy (in German)