Why will there be so many constitutional amendments on the 2018 midterm ballot in North Carolina?
The answer is simple. The current Republican held super-majority in the NC Legislature knows it will most likely lose its powerful, veto-proof hold on our state after November, and it is doing everything it can to extract more power from the system before that happens.
Since 2010, when the last census was drawn and voting districts across the country were gerrymandered to extremes by new Republican held state legislatures, we have seen our fair and balanced representation in the General Assembly decline, more in North Carolina than in any other state in the country.
Backed by deep pockets from national conservative groups, the current extremist super-majority in the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) has:
- Attacked fair elections through unconstitutional voting laws
- Stripped the power of the Governor’s office and given it to themselves
- Attacked the Judicial system by taking away public campaign financing as well as primaries, made judicial races partisan, and
- Shunned fair play and good governance to the point that the state legislature no longer represents the will of the people of North Carolina.
Since our original constitution was created in 1776, we have had only two other occasions where more than 6 amendments were on a ballot at once. In 1914 there were 10 – including one on hunting and fishing – and every single one was defeated that year. In 1970 there were 7, but that was preceded by a study commission which met for two years and created detailed implementation language so voters knew what they were voting on.
This year there is NO implementation language provided for any of the amendments, and a date has been set for Nov. 27th, 2018, after the election but before the new legislature is seated, to write the details of each one that passes. Voting for these amendments will give the extremist leadership a blank check to write any policy they want to implement the amendments. Only RealIDs for voting? Maybe. No hunting on Sunday? Could happen. They won’t give us the details upfront.
The six amendments on the ballot this year were drafted out of sight, with no bi-partisan notice or input allowed, and snuck in during the May short session which saw other disastrous policies like the #BackroomBudget bill created behind the backs of Democrats.
These amendments have no place in our constitution. If they were presented as laws they would be subject to debate and more transparency of the details upfront. They would also be subject to challenges at the state Supreme Court level. However, since two of these issues (VoterID and taking away the Governor’s power to appoint members to the Board of Elections) have already been deemed unconstitutional by the court as previously written, the legislature has decided to just try and change the constitution and circumvent the court’s decision.
If you boil down the language of these amendments, it becomes clear that the legislature’s power grab is not healthy for the future of our state. In essence, we can not allow them to:
- Shift even more power over to the legislative branch,
- Pick and choose which voters would have “eligible” photo IDs and be qualified to vote in 2020,
- Pack the judicial system with their personal choices of judges and Justices,
- And deceive voters with inaccurate and misleading descriptions on the ballot.
Working together, we can create a North Carolina that will be part of the change we want to see in the world. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help.
Share the word. Share this site. And help protect our democracy by voting against every constitutional amendment in November.
Developed by StrongerNC, Inc., a 501c4 grassroots organization comprised of North Carolinians who care about the future of our state and the fundamental rules of democracy. We are not affiliated with any party or candidate.