by Becki Gray
Former Senior Vice President, John Locke Foundation
As you recall, the General Assembly proposed six amendments to the state constitution be put before the voters in the upcoming November election, as authorized in our constitution. Gov Roy Cooper (who is no stranger to suing the General Assembly) filed a lawsuit arguing that amendments 5 and 6 on this list were unclear and misleading to voters. A three judge panel agreed and ruled that the General Assembly either had to remove them or re-write that language. They did, finished that today with House Bill 3 and House Bill 4, both passing with the required 3/5th vote for a constitutional amendment. These two re-written amendments that have been the subject of the controversy now return to the ballot unless further legal proceedings would block them from being on the ballot.
As voters we have a responsibility to cast an informed vote. Aside from reviewing the language as it will appear not he ballot, below. Carolina Journal reports from start to finish and then some, is the best source for the information you need.
As of August 27, 2018 the questions to be used in the voting systems and ballots shall be….
Constitutional amendment protecting the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.
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.
Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.
Constitutional amendment to reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of seven percent (7%).
Constitutional amendment to implement a nonpartisan merit-based system that relies on professional qualifications instead of political influence when nominating Justices and judges to be selected to fill vacancies that occur between judicial elections.
OR AS RE-WRITTEN:
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.”
To establish a bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections to administer ethics and election laws, to clarify the appointment authority of the Legislative and the Judicial Branches, and to prohibit legislators from serving on boards and commissions exercising executive or judicial authority.
OR AS RE-WRITTEN:
Constitutional amendment to establish an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement in the Constitution to administer ethics and elections law.