Updating the constitution
Nicholas Stephanopoulos is an attorney with the Washington D.
When the public votes against holding a constitutional convention, it sends a powerful message that it is satisfied with how things are or, at least, opposes the proposals of the convention’s supporters.
Those supporters can then no longer claim a mandate for their ideas.
Voters in Connecticut, Hawaii, and Illinois had to decide--as they’re required to by their state constitutions every ten or 20 years--whether they were satisfied with their states’ foundational documents or wanted to revamp them.
All three states declined to hold conventions this time, and in fact most votes of this sort fail.
Legislators are notorious for blocking proposals that threaten the comfortable status quo--term limits, fair redistricting, stricter ethics rules, balanced budget requirements, etc.