Christine Stuart file photo
Hartford Public Library debate on the Constitutional Convention (Christine Stuart file photo)

Connecticut voters soundly defeated the first ballot question asking voters if they wanted to hold a constitutional convention.

Proponents of a convention hoped it would lead to citizen initiative and referendum and possibly a ban on gay marriage, while opponents warned that a convention would trample citizens basic civil rights and give political power to special interest groups.

In a statement sent out late Tuesday night by opponents, Peggy Shorey, ‘Vote No’ campaign manager said, “People recognized that a political convention is risky, and it’s not real change.”

Based on a poll of 502 voters last week it looked like voters may approve a constitutional convention. The University of Connecticut poll found voters supported a convention 50 to 39 percent.

However, University of Connecticut Law School Professor Richard Kay was able to predict the question’s defeat last week.

“I gotta think it’s gonna lose. This is the land of steady habits,” Kay said last Thursday.

The second question on the ballot which asked if 17-year-olds should be able to vote in presidential primaries if they will be 18 years old before the general election, was approved by the voters Tuesday.