Skip to main content

The next attacks on our democracy are ones we’ve seen before. 

The N.C. General Assembly has approved a slate of constitutional amendments to appear at the end of the 2018 General Election ballot. Each will include a short caption (“constitutional amendment”) and ballot language set by lawmakers. Voters will be asked to vote ‘FOR’ or ‘AGAINST’ each amendment. The six amendments — written by politicians in secret — would make sweeping and permanent changes to our state’s most important legal document. A growing number of bipartisan voices are criticizing the amendments as a political power grab and a bad deal for working North Carolinians. Read the amendments below.

While the amendments might sound good at first, it’s important to dig deeper before you vote.

These proposed constitutional amendments range from unnecessary to dangerous, with little known about the details, the costs, and how many North Carolinians will be discriminated against in the process. What we do know is that amendments:

  • give the legislature unprecedented control over our elections;
  • let legislators handpick judges who would rubber stamp their agenda;
  • allow lawmakers to discriminate against voters based on race for political gain; and
  • give tax breaks to the rich and corporate interests at the expense of working families.

As a result, all 5 living North Carolina Governors and all 6 living N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justices have concerns about two amendments, dozens of constitutional experts and media outlets have already editorialized against all six of them, and a grassroots movement is building statewide to defeat all of them. Don’t give politicians a “blank check” to fill in the details later: Vote against all six. 

6 Ways to Fight 6 Dishonest Amendments Right Now:

#1 – “Read the fine print” about the Proposed 2018 Constitutional Amendments.

Get more information about the slate of amendments on the ballot this fall (and how to talk about them) with our helpful resource Fast Facts About the 2018 Proposed Constitutional Amendment”. Other amendment resources available to read, download, and share include:

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

Let us know you’re with us — sign our pledge below to VOTE AGAINST these dishonest amendments 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 and dishonesty of these amendments!

#4 – Volunteer to be a part of the “Truth Team”

Polling shows many North Carolinians don’t know about the proposed constitutional amendments on their ballot this fall, much less their harms. Democracy North Carolina is meeting voters where they are — recruiting volunteers to help distribute amendment information to voters as they enter the polls during Early Voting. Join the “Truth Team” in your area.

#5 – Share Amendment Resources in Your Community

From pledge to “vote against” cards to “What’s on the Ballot” half-pagers to “Flip Side of Proposed Amendments” Slate Cards, we have plenty of resources for you to print or order to share with your community — from faith to campus!

#6 – Attend a stop near you on the Protect OUR Constitution Tour

Following a September 2018 poll revealing North Carolinians know little about six proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot this fall, we’re hitting the road to help educate voters about the amendments and their harms. Join us on the Tour!

Volunteer to educate voters: text vol to 484848 to get started. 

Pledge to Vote the Whole Ballot, Vote AGAINST Amendments, and Fight Back!

We deserve better — pledge to vote AGAINST these amendments this fall.

Amendments are presented below in REVERSE ORDER from how they will appear on the ballot — to put the most important amendments first. PLEASE NOTE: “*”Captions for each amendment are provided FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY. By act of the N.C. General Assembly, each amendment will appear captioned only as ‘constitutional amendment’ with no other information than the ballot language below.

“Elections Ethics Amendment” 

[  ] FOR [ ❌] AGAINST

Constitutional amendment to establish an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement in the Constitution to administer ethics and elections law.

Read the full text of the proposal 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.
  2. Despite the name, this amendment would lead to a deadlocked 8-member state elections board, meaning partisan gridlock and less ballot access for voters.
  3. It is unnecessary — North Carolinians already have a 9-member, bipartisan state elections board, with one Unaffiliated member, four Democrats, and four Republicans.

Voters should reject this transparent power grab. Pledge to vote AGAINST this fall. 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

“Judicial Appointment Amendment.” 

[  ] FOR [ ❌] AGAINST

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.

Read the full text of the proposal 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. Pledge to Vote AGAINST this fall

____________________________________________________________________________________________

“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 proposal 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.

Voters should protecting their voting access. Pledge to vote AGAINST this fall. 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

“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%).

Read the full text of the proposal here.

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. Pledge to vote AGAINST this fall. 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

“Marsy’s Law Amendment”

[  ] FOR [ ❌] AGAINST

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.

Read the full text of the proposal here.

3 fast facts to know and share:

  1. Ignores our state’s existing, flexible, and robust victim’s rights laws.
  2. Would create a two-tiered system of justice that would benefit the rich and delay justice for everyone.
  3. Would cost tens of millions of dollars per year to implement with no details on where that money will come from.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

“Hunting and Fishing Amendment” 

[  ] FOR [ ❌] AGAINST

Constitutional amendment protecting the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.

Read the full text of the proposal here.

3 fast facts to know and share:

  1. Benefits the corporate gun lobby and other special interests.
  2. Recreates protections that already exist — protections that have no known threats.
  3. Deceives voters into thinking their rights are under attack for the sole purpose of drawing certain voters to the polls.

 

Editorials and Columns Opposing the NCGA's Proposed Amendments

  1. Governors James B. Hunt, Jr., James G. Martin, Michael F. Easley, Beverly Eaves Perdue, and Patrick L. McCrory: "Why all 5 living NC Governors oppose two constitutional amendments"
  2. Melissa Price Kromm, Tomas Lopez and Karen Anderson: "Proposed amendments are a blank check for pols and bad deal for voters"
  3. WRAL: "Vote NO"
  4. WRAL: "Constitutional amendments; less better government, more boosting GOP fortunes"
  5. WRAL: "Voters need to reject rushed, fatally-flawed Constitutional amendments"
  6. WRAL: "230 years ago nation's founders saw tyranny N.C. legislators now seek to impose"
  7. WRAL: "Legislators put fat thumb on N.C. Supreme Court election scale"
  8. Charlotte Observer: "All the Observer’s picks for Tuesday’s election"
  9. Charlotte Observer: "NC constitutional amendments: 5 no’s and a maybe"
  10. Charlotte Observer: "Voter ID is back in North Carolina, and the justifications are as lame as ever"
  11. Fayetteville Observer: "Amendments get pushback they deserve"
  12. Fayetteville Observer: "Voter ID plan best taken with a grain of suspicion"
  13. Myron B. Pitts (Fayetteville Observer): "Election ballots will offer 6 unneeded amendments"
  14. Greensboro News & Record: "Are you in the 'no' about proposed amendments?"
  15. Greensboro News & Record: "Try these better ideas than reducing early voting hours in North Carolina"
  16. Greensboro News & Record: "Getting to appoint personnel requires the North Carolina General Assembly to be more open."
  17. Greenville Daily Reflector: "Local fallout: New early voting law may reduce early voting sites"
  18. Hickory Daily Record: "Vote no on amendments, partisan maneuvering"
  19. Larry Clark (Hickory Daily Record:) "State amendments are a mixed bag"
  20. News & Observer: "Can the victims’ rights amendment deliver what it promises?"
  21. News & Observer: "The NC GOP’s amendment plan: Fool the voters"
  22. News & Observer: "The NC ballot shouldn’t be a riddle. Or a lie."
  23. News & Observer: "The proposed constitutional amendments are a hot mess"
  24. News & Observer: "Lower the cap on income taxes? That’s the wrong tax."
  25. News & Observer: "Legislature special session on amendments draws criticism from NC residents"
  26. Salisbury Post: "Caution, long ballot ahead"
  27. Salisbury Post: "Voter ID ‘cure worse than disease’"
  28. Sampson Independent's Larry Sutton: "Say ‘no’ to voter ID"
  29. Smokey Mountain News' Cory Vaillancourt: "Proposed N.C. Constitutional amendments leave unanswered questions"
  30. Triad City Beat: "In NC amendments, a bad idea gets worse"
  31. The Virginian-Pilot: "N.C. GOP tries again to stack the deck"
  32. The Virginian-Pilot: "Election tricks right here at home"
  33. Wilmington Star News: "Attempted power-grab in Raleigh is plain un-American"
  34. Wilmington Star News: "Why N.C. crime-victim amendment is a bad idea"
  35. Wilmington Star News: "Keep N.C. government in balance, accountable"
  36. Winston-Salem Journal: "Voter ID is still a bad idea"
  37. Winston-Salem Journal: "Voter ID is still a bad idea"
  38. Winston-Salem Journal: "Reject this power play involving the NC Constitution"
  39. YES! Weekly: "Vote against the six Constitutional amendments"
  40. Alice Ammerman: "Vote against all six amendments, especially voter ID"
  41. Veteran Election Expert Ted Arrington: “no” vote on constitutional amendment to alter elections board
  42. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II & Rashad Robinson: "If voter ID comes to NC, Apple and Amazon shouldn't"
  43. Stephen Boyd: "Would you buy a pig in a poke?"
  44. Budget & Tax Center: Details of what the photo ID amendment will cost
  45. U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield: "Why North Carolinians need to pay attention to Ohio's Voter Purge Law"
  46. Gerry Cohen, Former NCGA Special Counsel: "New voter photo ID bill is vague and leaves lots of questions"
  47. Student Nick Courmon: "Don’t try to fool us with new voter ID ploy"
  48. Bill Gilkeson: "NC amendment would create a State Board of Elections ‘designed to fail’"
  49. Judge Nancy Gordon: "Judicial amendment threatens the independence of our courts"
  50. Lynn and Carol Hogue: "Voting against all six amendments"
  51. Wayne Hale: "All 6 amendments should be rejected"
  52. John Hood: "Leaders should remember that wheel of politics always turns"
  53. Brian Irving: "Don’t be fooled by deceptive amendments"
  54. Earl Johnson: "Voter ID on the N.C. ballot is about suppression, not fraud"
  55. Kris Kramer: "Vote against amendments"
  56. Registered Republican and classroom educator April Lee: "Our Students Can’t Afford Costly Amendments"
  57. Doug Macklin: "No to amendments"
  58. William Matthews: "Why All Christians Should Care About North Carolina’s Unjust Voter ID Bill"
  59. Chris McCoy: "Convoluted judicial amendment subverts voters"
  60. Kevin Miller: "Judiciary amendment threatens constitution"
  61. Rep. Marcia Morey: "Nix all six NC constitutional amendments on Election Day"
  62. Kevin Moye: "The return of NC’s infamous voter ID laws"
  63. Lee Nackman: "The state income tax cap amendment is bad news. Here’s why."
  64. Mark Nance: "Six reasons why the NC constitutional amendments should be rejected"
  65. Richard Nordan: "Reject the NC tax cap. It will hurt government and most taxpayers."
  66. Bob Orr, Former N.C. Supreme Court Justice: "NC Republican: I've changed my mind on voter ID"
  67. Justin Parmenter: "Passing a NC voter ID amendment would create a 21st century poll tax"
  68. Donald Stephens: "Vote against destructive NC amendments"
  69. Leila Tvedt Hyde: "Photo ID shouldn’t be required to vote"
  70. Tom Wood: "Amendment is a mockery"

Don’t be fooled. When politicians rig elections, it hurts voters like you.

Self-serving politicians will use many tactics to get elected and avoid being held accountable for their actions. They will add voting restrictions to make it harder for some people to vote. They will redraw their district lines to reduce competition and create “safe seats.” They will also use claims of voter fraud to challenge voters or justify changing election rules for their benefit. All these tactics wind up hurting honest voters like you. Just ask Joe, Carol, Robert and others with compelling stories below.

JOE GOLDEN: "IF I WAS WRONGFULLY ACCUSED OF VOTER FRAUD, HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE TOO?"

Joe Golden was falsely accused of voter fraud by Gov. McCrory's reelection campaign in 2016. Joe says the experience changed the way he looks at the words 'voter fraud:' "if I can be accused of voter fraud, having done nothing wrong, it makes me wonder how many people are accused of voter fraud and had absolutely no intent, in any way, to undermine the system."

CAROL TURNER WAS FALSELY ACCUSED OF FRAUD. IT HURT.

Grandmother and military mom Carol Turner was one of hundreds of North Carolinians falsely accused of voter fraud in 2016. Carol expands on why she was so disappointed in these allegations — not only in North Carolina but with the system as a whole.

ROBERT CHADWICK: "YOU CAN'T REPRESENT THE PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA BY CHEATING THE PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA."

Robert Chadwick of Raleigh was falsely accused of voter fraud because his father, who voted in Maryland, has the same name. He fought back against ambitious politicians who used him to malign the 2016 elections.

PEOPLE ASSUMED JOE GOLDEN WAS A "CHEATER" WHEN HE WAS WRONGFULLY ACCUSED OF VOTER FRAUD.

Joe Golden was falsely accused of voter fraud by the Pat McCrory's reelection campaign in 2016. His name was plastered on the cover of his local papers and he was called a "cheater" on social media. Not surprisingly wrongful accusations like that soured him on the system. Now he's fighting to make it better.

Anne Hughes: I was "shocked" and "fearful."

Anne Hughes of Pinehurst and her husband Bill were both falsely accused of voter fraud by Gov. Pat McCrory's reelection campaign in 2016. She was "shocked" and "fearful" having just moved to North Carolina and finding out that her vote was being protested by someone she didn't even know.

Bill Hughes: Party Chair's Accusation Against Him Was a "Failure of Judgement."

Bill Hughes of Pinehurst and his wife Anne were both falsely accused of voter fraud in 2016 by the head of their county's Republican Party. Bill and Anne spoke out to change election rules so that it would be harder for others to be wrongfully accused of the same thing. Bill says the accusation was a "failure of judgement."