Defending Democracy with Informed Community Action in WNC

Action Alert: #NixAllSix

The N.C. General Assembly has approved 6 constitutional amendments to appear at the end of the 2018 General Election ballot. All 6 amendments have drawn criticism for being concocted in secret, vaguely-written, and permanent changes drafted with partisan intent. These amendments are unnecessary power grabs, and are worded with intention to be confusing to voters. We urge voters to reject all six amendments!

In November, remember to #NixAllSix! And be sure to inform your friends!

Here’s more info on the four most harmful amendments from Democracy NC: 

1. “Voter Restriction (Photo ID) Amendment”

[  ] FOR [ ❌] AGAINST

Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person. Read the full text of the act here.

What it would do:

Require N.C. voters to provide “photo ID” in order to vote, beginning in 2019.

3 fast facts to know and share:

  1. Voters don’t know what kind of “photo ID” will be included. Current lawmakers will choose what “photo ID” is valid for N.C. voters after the Nov. election, without any details about whether there will be free IDs available, what exceptions may be put in place, or how voters will be educated about the new ID rule.
  2. The last ID law did not include common forms of ID like student or employee IDs, and was thrown out in court for using racial data to discriminate against Black voters.
  3. This amendment isn’t mainstream, it’s extreme. Only one state has a photo ID requirement in its constitution: Mississippi. This amendment is worse.

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3 Steps to Fight the Voter Restriction Amendment Right Now:

#1 – Talking About the Voter Restriction Amendment.

It’s time to start talking and building a movement for the freedom to vote! Get more information about the Voter Restriction Amendment and all of the anti-voter amendments on the ballot this fall with our resource Fast Facts About the 2018 Proposed Constitutional Amendment.

#2 – Pledge to Get Down the Ballot, Vote AGAINST, and Fight Back. 

Let us know you’re with us — sign our pledge below to VOTE AGAINST on these amendments this fall and reject attacks on our freedom to vote. And know we’ll be in touch soon with more  ways to get involved in the meantime!

#3 – Write a letter to the editor voicing your opposition. 

Scroll down this page to read all about how North Carolina newspapers, experts, and voters are speaking out against these amendments (and how you can too!) Then pen a letter in your local newspaper to spread the word about the dangers of these amendments to North Carolina voters!

The Voter Restriction Amendment is just one of four dangerous constitutional amendments that would subvert our judicial and elections processes,  a troubling trifecta of permanent changes to our constitution that would:

❌ give legislators more power to oversee our elections
❌ give legislators more power to pick our judges
❌ give legislators more power to restrict our voter access

If approved, all of these amendments would be permanent changes to the North Carolina Constitution that could not be changed by the governor or future legislatures and that give current lawmakers a “blank check” to fill in the details later on how these dramatic changes are implemented. They are all extreme proposals that would give more power to the legislative branch to pick our judges, make voting harder, appoint their friends to run key agencies, and give political donors huge tax breaks.

2. “Income Tax Cap”

[    ] FOR [ ❌] AGAINST
Constitutional amendment to reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of seven percent (7%).

What it would do:

Permanently bar the N.C. General Assembly from raising the income tax rate above 7%.

3 fast facts to know and share:

    1. This would limit the income tax to a level lower than the state’s wealthiest taxpayers paid before 2013. This proposal is a permanent tax shift to help the rich.
    2. This change would hinder the state’s ability to fund vital public needs, like roads and schools.
    3. To make up for the lost income tax revenue, lawmakers will be forced to increase taxes elsewhere, including property and sales taxes, which more frequently burden working and lower-income voters.

Voters should reject this blank check for wealthy donors.

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3. “Court-packing Amendment.” 

[  ] FOR [ ❌] AGAINST

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. Read the full text of the act here.

What it would do:

The amendment gives the N.C. General Assembly the power to 1) appoint a “merit commission” designed to evaluate judicial nominees submitted by the public; 2) select two judicial nominees to submit to the governor for appointment; and 3) fill judicial vacancies themselves if the governor does not want to appoint either of their choices.

3 fast facts to know and share:

  1. The amendment provides few details on how the so-called “merit commission” would be assembled or who would have a say, so voters wouldn’t know these critical details of the process before casting their vote.
  2. This proposal would dramatically change the power legislators have to control who sits on our state courts, a slippery slope that amendment sponsors said could lead to voters losing the ability to elect judges altogether.
  3. If approved, it would enable lawmakers to engage in partisan “court-packing” — allowing them to add two seats to the N.C. Supreme Court and fill those high court “vacancies” with justices who agree with an extreme agenda, including partisan voting districts, voting restrictions, and more. Voters wouldn’t have a chance to vote on these new N.C. Supreme Court Justices until 2022.

Voters should reject this attack on impartial courts.

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4. “Legislative Power Grab Amendment” 

[  ] FOR [ ❌] AGAINST

Constitutional amendment 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. Read the full text of the act here.

What it would do:

Give the N.C. General Assembly the power to appoint certain boards and commissions that are currently appointed by the Governor, including the State Board of Elections.

3 fast facts to know and share:

  1. A prior attempt to remake the N.C. Board of Elections was rejected by the N.C. Supreme Court for violating the state’s constitution. Now legislators are trying to change the constitution to get their way. Despite the name, this amendment would lead to more partisan gridlock and ultimately less ballot access for voters.
  2. The fine print of the amendment — that voters will not see on the ballot — says the N.C.G.A. “shall control the powers, duties, responsibilities, appointments and terms of office of any board or commission prescribed by general law.” This would dramatically reduce the governor’s authority, and place even more power in the hands of the legislature to control things like utility rates, road building, schools, health care, and environmental protections.
  3. Because it would radically alter the historic balance of power between the executive, legislative and judicial branches, former governors from both major parties oppose this amendment, including the state’s only living Republican governors.

Voters should reject this transparent power grab.