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The dirty half dozen: What you need to know about all six proposed constitutional amendments


The 2018 midterm elections are upon us and North Carolina voters will soon pass judgment on, among many other things, an unprecedented raft of six constitutional amendments.

The proposals include:

There are many compelling reasons to oppose all six – starting with the absurd and outrageous lack of process that accompanied their approval by the General Assembly during the final harried days of the 2018 legislative session, the hurried rewrite of two amendments in late August, and the deceitful and dishonest way the proposals will be summarized and presented on the ballot.

Still, even if one were to set aside all of the profound problems of process and procedure, there are numerous important substantive deficiencies in each amendment that are more than adequate to justify a “no” vote. Here is a brief list:

The proposal to permanently cap the state income tax at 7% would:

The proposal to remake the state Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement would:

The proposal to alter how vacancies on the state’s courts are filled would:

The proposal to mandate photo identification for in-person voting would:

The proposal to establish a so-called “victims’ bill of rights” would:

The proposal to establish a constitutional right to hunt and fish would:

The bottom line: Each proposal would undermine important rights of average North Carolinians – namely, the right to adequately funded public structures and services, the right to fair and competently managed elections, the right to a government in which there is a genuine balance of power between the legislative and executive branches, the right to vote, the right to a criminal justice system in which all are innocent until proven guilty of a crime, and the right to public safety.

Happily, however, there is a simple path for those who want to preserve our democracy: vote “no” on all six and send lawmakers back to the drawing board.