While there are no statewide races to draw voters out to the polls this November, several constitutional amendments might do the trick. North Carolinians can expect to vote on six proposed amendments to the state constitution this fall, which marks the most initiatives on a single ballot since the 1970s. Under current N.C. law, a proposed amendment must begin as a bill at the legislature and receive three-fifths support from both chambers before it can be placed before citizens for a vote. Here’s a roundup of the six initiatives that survived the legislative process and will be up for consideration on Nov. 6, including the exact language that will appear before voters on the ballot:
- Hunting and Fishing: Constitutional amendment protecting the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.
- Victims’ Rights: 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.
- Income Tax Cap: Constitutional amendment to reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of seven percent (7%).
- Voter ID: Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.
- Judicial Vacancies: 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.
- Legislative Appointments: Constitutional amendment to establish a bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections to administer ethics and elections laws, to clarify the appointment authority of the Legislative and Judicial Branches, and to prohibit legislators from serving on boards and commissions exercising executive or judicial authority.
While several of the proposed amendments passed along party-line votes, the amendments to strengthen victims’ rights and protect the right to hunt and fish received nearly unanimous bipartisan support. Now, the fate of these proposed amendments rests in the hands of North Carolina’s citizens!