There’s been quite a hullaballoo about the six proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Hysterical ads attacking the amendments are popping up all over TV and radio like weeds.
We’ve taken a cursory look at them. Some seem pretty important. Some, NOT SO. Here’s our quick take:
- Voter ID: This is arguably the most important of the bunch. Voting is one of the most important things we do as citizens. We should make every effort to ensure everyone who does it is lawfully allowed to do so. The claims of discrimination and suppression are ridiculous. How do you go through life without any means whatsoever to prove WHO YOU ARE beyond a reasonable doubt? You need a photo ID to drive a car, to cash a check, to buy cigarettes and alcohol, get a job, see a doctor, and buy a gun. Surely, voting should warrant the same security measures as the purchase of cigarettes and tobacco. This is definitely a YES.
- Victim’s Rights: This amendment is based on the national movement called Marsy’s Law. Sure, we have all kinds of protections for victims on the books. But putting this in the state constitution provides some uniformity on how they are applied — regardless of where you live in NC. It mandates that victims get notified prior to ANY public proceedings involving the defendants and be given a chance to weigh in. I don’t see the problem. YES.
- Appointments to the ethics and elections board. This looks like inside-baseball and a power struggle between politicos. These folks on Jones Street already struggle with ethics and election law enforcement. I don’t see the benefit for all of us out here. Until someone gives me a better argument, I’m leaving this one BLANK or voting NO.
- Filling judicial vacancies. Same argument as with the ethics and elections appointments. This one is a LEAVE IT BLANK or NO until someone gives me a better argument.
- Right to hunt and fish. I’m not a big fan of hunting. But I realize it’s needed sometimes to control animal populations. I love seafood. There have been efforts by environmentalists to clamp down on hunting and fishing in North Carolina. This amendment blocks efforts to seriously restrict or ban hunting and fishing while emphasizing the importance of conservation. YES.
- Capping the state income tax rate. I’m all for putting a limit on how high taxes can go. But politicians get tricky. They will lower the tax rate while instituting new or increasing existing “fees” and “surcharges” to fuel their spending spree. Approving this can’t hurt. But I continue to argue that the best way to keep a lid on taxes and spending is to elect conservatives and hold their feet to the fire. When — not if — they lie, vote them out. YES