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

The N.C. General Assembly has approved 6 constitutional amendments to appear at the end of the 2018 General Election ballot. Each will include a short caption, to be determined this August, and ballot language set by lawmakers. Voters will be asked to vote ‘FOR’ or ‘AGAINST’ each amendment. All 6 amendments have drawn criticism for being concocted in secret, vaguely-written, and permanent changes drafted with partisan intent.

Four amendments in particular should raise serious concerns for all North Carolina voters.

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 the impact of photo ID restrictions (and how to talk about it in your networks) with our updated resources “Fast Facts About the Voter ID Restriction Amendment” and “Talking About Voter ID.”

#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 Freedom to Vote is Under Attack — Pledge to Flip 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.

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

❌ legislators more power to oversee our elections
❌ legislators more power to pick our judges
❌ legislators more power to restrict our voter access
❌legislators power to tax the poor to help the rich

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. Pledge to vote AGAINST this fall. 

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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 2020.

Voters should reject this attack on impartial courts. Pledge to Vote AGAINST this fall

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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. Pledge to vote AGAINST this fall. 

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Editorials and Columns Opposing the NCGA's Proposed Amendments

  1. WRAL: "Constitutional amendments; less better government, more boosting GOP fortunes"
  2. WRAL: "Voters need to reject rushed, fatally-flawed Constitutional amendments"
  3. WRAL: "230 years ago nation's founders saw tyranny N.C. legislators now seek to impose"
  4. WRAL: "Legislators put fat thumb on N.C. Supreme Court election scale"
  5. Charlotte Observer: "Voter ID is back in North Carolina, and the justifications are as lame as ever"
  6. Fayetteville Observer: "Voter ID plan best taken with a grain of suspicion"
  7. Greensboro News & Record: "Try these better ideas than reducing early voting hours in North Carolina"
  8. Greensboro News & Record: "Getting to appoint personnel requires the North Carolina General Assembly to be more open."
  9. Greenville Daily Reflector: "Local fallout: New early voting law may reduce early voting sites"
  10. Salisbury Post: "Caution, long ballot ahead"
  11. Salisbury Post: "Voter ID ‘cure worse than disease’"
  12. Wilmington Star News: "Attempted power-grab in Raleigh is plain un-American"
  13. Winston-Salem Journal: "Voter ID is still a bad idea"
  14. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II & Rashad Robinson: "If voter ID comes to NC, Apple and Amazon shouldn't"
  15. U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield: "Why North Carolinians need to pay attention to Ohio's Voter Purge Law"
  16. Gerry Cohen, Former NCGA Special Counsel: "New voter photo ID bill is vague and leaves lots of questions"
  17. Student Nick Courmon: "Don’t try to fool us with new voter ID ploy"
  18. John Hood: "Leaders should remember that wheel of politics always turns"
  19. William Matthews: "Why All Christians Should Care About North Carolina’s Unjust Voter ID Bill"
  20. Lee Nackman: "The state income tax cap amendment is bad news. Here’s why."
  21. Bob Orr, Former N.C. Supreme Court Justice: "NC Republican: I've changed my mind on voter ID"

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."

Tell Lawmakers: Stop the Scheme

Tell your legislators to stop trying to rig the system for partisan control at the expense of North Carolina's voters.