WHY TO VOTE AGAINST THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS ON YOUR 2018 BALLOT
The Rockingham County Democratic Party North Carolina Democratic Party and numerous non-partisan groups advise:
VOTE "AGAINST" ALL SIX AMENDMENTS!
Any attempt to change our Constitution should be deliberate and bipartisan. The public has only voted on seven amendments in the last twenty years. Now, we're forced to vote on six one election, a Mid Term Election, where historically voter turn out is significantly lower, which means fewer voters are likely to participate in decision making that will affect every citizen of our state.
The process by which the amendment referenda will appear on the 2018 ballots was highly partisan, with court challenges from several sources. It is likely some will again be challenged in court, based on other constitutionality arguments.
Constitutional amendment protecting the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.
What it does: Enshrines the public’s right to hunt and fish in the state constitution. It sets up potential challenges to hunting restrictions by saying any limits on this right can only come from laws intended to promote wildlife conservation and protect the future of hunting and fishing. It also strips local government (county & municipal) authority to regulate and gives that power to only the NC General Assembly.
Constitutional amendment to strengthen protections for victims of crime; to establish certain absolute basic rights for victims; and to ensure the enforcement of these rights.
What it does: This amendment includes a slate of provisions delineating rights of people who are victims of crimes. The contents of this amendment are coveredbylaws already on the books. What this description does not tell voters, is the expense of pursuing enforcement of those rights will fall on the shoulders of the victims, as there will be no state provided counsel for that purpose.
Constitutional amendment to reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of seven percent (7%).
What it does: Prevents the personal income tax rate from exceeding 7%. This replaces the current provision in the state constitution capping income tax rates at 10%.
Voters should understand that this tax cap WILL NOT lower their current tax rate and may hamper the state's ability to raise revenue to cover emergencies like natural disasters; forcing the state to borrow funds, with the additional cost of interest, or the implementation of sales and property taxes that would shift the burden to middle and lower income earners, in order to meet the needs of citizens. Initially, the Senate favored a much lower tax cap, which the House disagreed with, feeling such a reduction would hamper the state's ability to meet revenue needs should there be future, adverse economic changes.
Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.
What it does: This amendment would require voters to show photo identification for in person voting. The actual structure of the law accomplishing this would be drafted later; a blank check. North Carolina has had a voter ID law before, struck down by the courts as part of a broader slate of elections changes that were deemed to target African-American voters.
It is estimated that 300,000 NC voters could be disenfranchised by a Photo ID law. Even for a "free" ID, lost time on the job, travel expense, cost of documentation (birth certificate, notarized witness statements supporting midwife delivery, marriage license, divorce papers, reinstatement of maiden name, adoption papers, etc.), to meet the requirements are often an insurmountable obstacle for lower income earners, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly and people with disabilities. A 2014 GOA study found that strict photo ID laws resulted in a voter reduction of 2-3% that could amount to a loss of tens of thousands of votes in a single state. This is borne out by the Democracy NC (a non-partisan organization) estimate that the 2014 NC Voter ID law reduced turn out by at least 30,000 voters and resulted in the rejection of thousands of ballots cast that would otherwise have been counted. When we consider the tax payer cost of a "free" ID program, estimated at $800,000+ in 2014 and the millions spent on defending legislation later rejected by the courts as "unconstitutional", voters would be better served by legislators working the bugs out of their proposals before presenting a fill-in-the-blanks later Amendment Referendum; especially in light of the income tax cap referendum that would reduce state revenue available to pay for costly mistakes.
Constitutional amendment to change the process for filling judicial vacancies that occur between judicial elections from a process in which the Governor has sole appointment power to a process in which the people of the State nominate individuals to fill vacancies by way of a commission comprised of appointees made by the judicial, executive, and legislative branches charged with making recommendations to the legislature as to which nominees are deemed qualified; then the legislature will recommend at least two nominees to the Governor via legislative action not subject to gubernatorial veto; and the Governor will appoint judges from among these nominees.
What it does: Changes the rules for who appoints judges when vacancies occur between elections. Currently, the governor appoints them. This would set up a system where anybody in the state could submit nominations to a nonpartisan “Judicial Merit Commission,” which would then evaluate their fitness and send that information to the General Assembly.
The legislature would then pick two names to send to the governor. In cases where the vacancy occurs right before an election, the chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court would make the pick instead of the governor. Simply because the composition of the "Judicial Merit Commission" who reviews the qualifications of judicial nominees is non-partisan, that does not mean that legislators will be submitting two "non-partisan" nominees to the Governor. This Amendment is clearly designed to take power from the executive branch of our government and give it to the legislative branch; altering our Constitution's balance of power, by concentrating that power in the legislature, with the further potential for a partisan super-majority to pack the courts with sympathetic judges. No party should have that power.
Note: It also takes authority from the present Governor elected by the majority of all voters and moves it to the General Assembly Super-majority elected by a minority of voters, due to unconstitutionally gerrymandered districts."
Constitutional amendment to establish an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement in the Constitution to administer ethics and elections law
What it does: The N.C. Supreme Court has ruled that the current State Constitution ensures that the Governor has control over the State Board of Elections; this being the result of numerous legislative attempts to take that power from the Executive Branch and effectively give it to the General Assembly. With this amendment voters are being asked to change the balance of power in our government by taking control from the Executive Branch and giving it to the Legislative Branch. Voters are also being asked to condone a restructuring of the State Board of Elections likely to ensure partisan gridlock and dysfunction, as has been seen at the county level, also the result of recent legislation, where county boards have been of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, that has cost NC tax payers dearly.
Why would voters approve a state level system that has already proven to create legal challenges, chaos in election preparation, and increase tax payer expense?
5 Former Governors , both Democrats and Republicans Advise Voting AGAINST Numbers 5 & 6
Create your own unique website with customizable templates.