A number of organizations, including the N.C. NAACP, Democracy North Carolina, ACLU of North Carolina and North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections have united to oppose all six of the proposed amendments to the North Carolina Constitution, a “nix the six” campaign.
Most folks don’t have the time to research this, so I’ll just say why we will be voting against all of the six amendments. We quote the state Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement titles to each proposed amendment.
1. “Right to hunt and fish”: We already have the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife. But beware of unintended consequences. This could cost private property owners their right to control hunting and fishing on their land.
2. “Changes to current victims’ rights”: “Victims’ rights” is a dangerously vague term to enshrine in our state constitution. This product of a California billionaire’s national campaign could actually delay justice for victims and cost tens of millions of dollars per year to implement. If victims need help, enact laws; don’t mess with our state constitution.
3. “Cap maximum state income tax at 7%”: Nobody wants to pay taxes, but sometimes an income tax is the most efficient and fairest way to raise money statewide for needed programs (think hurricanes and floods). Where will the money come if a future emergency demands a response? The only ready alternatives are increasing property and sales taxes. Don’t distort our tax system.
4. “Require photographic identification to vote”: This is an effort to legalize further legislative experiments with voter suppression laws. Such shenanigans have already cost taxpayers millions in legal fees. This proposal aims at disenfranchising students, and disabled, veteran and elderly voters.
5. “Legislature to control judicial appointments”: Whatever happened to the ideas of divided government and checks and balances — bedrock ideas on which our constitutional democracy is founded? This proposal would undermine one branch of state government (the judicial) to aggrandize another (the legislature), and bring us one step closer to ending voters’ rights to elect judges.
6. “Party leaders in legislature to control ethics and elections board appointments; eliminate nonpartisan representation on board”: North Carolina already has a nine-member, bipartisan state elections board. This amendment would reduce it to eight members (four from each party) and thereby create gridlock, something of which we already have enough. Also note that a prior version of this law was declared unconstitutional by North Carolina’s Supreme Court.
In summary, these are the reasons why we are voting against all six amendments: Either “it’s not broke, so don’t fix it” (the hunting/fishing amendment); “it’ll make things worse while not fixing what’s wrong” (the victims’ rights amendment); or “it’s destroying our balanced government” (amendments 3–6). We’d rather see government work more efficiently and not waste our tax dollars.
— Lynn and Carol Hogue