Big vote yesterday of the European country of Italy. Significant changes have been proposed to the country's constitution which dates back to 1948, and voters were given the choice to accept or reject them. Italy's parliament has two chambers, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Both houses have to approve a bill before it can become law.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi wants to reduce the number of people serving in the Senate. This would weaken that chamber. And Prime Minister Renzi says it would make it easier and faster to pass laws.
But critics say this could get rid of an important check on the government's power and give too much power to the prime minister instead.
What further raised the stakes in this referendum, this vote is that Mr. Renzi says he'll step down as prime minister if Italians don't vote to reduce the size of the Senate.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's all about cutting down the powers and the size of the Italian senate, basically making it a much smaller body. Instead of 315 members, it will go down to 100 and they will be appointed and they'll have very little in the way of decision-making power. The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi says this is a good way to stream-line a very cumbersome political process but his critics say that this really poses the danger of giving dictatorial powers or rather too much power to whoever is in the position of prime minister.
Many people harking back to the days of Mussolini, who was one of the reasons why the cumbersome political system exists here in the first place.
The problem is, of course, Matteo Renzi has said that if Italians reject these constitutional changes, he will resign.
So, many of his opponents have turned this simply into a popular contest for Matteo Renzi. He's the 41-year-old prime minister who has been in power for the last two and a half years. He came to power promising to get the Italian economy, which hasn't really moved since the late 1990s, moving again. It has moved from negative growth to very anemic progress or rather positive growth. But for many Italians, that's simply not enough.