Still haven’t voted? Read this refresher before heading to the polls

Still haven’t voted? Read this refresher before heading to the polls

- in Defending Democracy, Top Story

North Carolinians have until 7:30 p.m. this evening to vote in a contentious midterm election in which voters will decide, among other things, the fate of several controversial constitutional amendments.

While more than two million voters already cast their ballots early, there are still five million more who have a chance to study up on the election and make their voice heard.

Policy Watch has published countless articles and produced many commentaries on what’s at stake this year. In an effort to get it all in one place for easy voter access, below is a recap of where you can find information to help decide some of this year’s key races.

There are six constitutional amendments on the ballot. Voting and civil rights activists as well as many public figures in North Carolina have taken a stance to “nix all six” by encouraging people to vote against all of the amendments.

A proposed cap on the state income tax – this amendment would permanently cap the state income tax at 7 percent. Here are some resources to read up on:

An open letter from upper-income North Carolinians opposed to the tax cap amendment

State leaders look to lock in an economic system that is failing many, working for the few

Still have questions about the income tax amendment on the ballot?

An amendment to require a photo identification to vote in future elections – this would enshrine an ID requirement in the constitution, though lawmakers did not include in the proposed amendment what type of ID would be required. For more information, read these pieces:

North Carolinians highlight struggles getting photo IDs ahead of amendment vote

Proposed amendment requiring a voter ID is unnecessary and too costly

Voter ID: A poll tax on Aunt Bee

In Voter ID amendment, voter suppression lives on in North Carolina

Civil Rights Commission report: Minority voting rights impacted by new laws, including strict voter ID

An amendment to protect the right to hunt and fish is also on the ballot. Read more about it:

Meaningless or dangerous? Hunting and fishing constitutional amendment raises huge questions

One of the proposed constitutional amendments would transfer power from the Governor and reallocate it to the legislature to fill judicial vacancies. It’s one of the more widely opposed amendments, which you can read about below:

Voters will decide if lawmakers can appoint judicial vacancies, pack state Supreme Court

Confused about the judicial appointment constitutional amendment? Read this

Another amendment that has garnered many opponents is one that would restructure the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement from a nine-member board with unaffiliated voter representation to an eight-member board equally divided by Republicans and Democrats. Read some background:

Lack of support for power-grabbing amendments speaks volumes

Wake judge declines to rule on ballot question challenges, calls for appointment of three-judge panel

The Board of Elections battle: Where things stand

BREAKING: 3-judge panel rules Board of Elections, Ethics Enforcement structure unconstitutional

General Assembly looking to settle board of elections appointments with constitutional amendment

Finally, one of the proposed constitutional amendments purports to strengthen crime victim’s rights. The amendment, however, does not contain any specific information about how that would be done since it states “as prescribed by law.” There are also already protections in the constitution for crime victims. Read more below:

Questions linger about victims’ rights constitutional amendment, big budget campaign

PW exclusive: Previously undisclosed fiscal note says victims’ rights constitutional amendment could cost state millions

Irony alert: Billionaire behind “Marsy’s Law” victims’ rights amendment becomes a criminal defendant

If that’s not enough, here are a few of the many stories and commentaries about all of the proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot this year:

The dirty half dozen: What you need to know about all six proposed constitutional amendments

What voters need to know about the proposed constitutional amendments

Just say “no”

Amendment language for voter guides set

New voter suppression proposals echo North Carolina’s dark past

Pat McCrory, at last, makes a stand

And for those who need a refresher on the statewide judicial races, here are some questionnaire responses from all 11 candidates:

PW exclusive: A Q&A with all three NC Supreme Court candidates

Q&A with state Court of Appeals candidates – the Elmore seat

Q&A with state Court of Appeals candidates – the Arrowood seat

Q&A with state Court of Appeals candidates – the Calabria seat