John Nix: Why all six amendments matter

John Nix: Why all six amendments matter

There are six amendments to the North Carolina Constitution on your ballot for Tuesday, Nov. 6. There are varying opinions on these amendments, some factually based and some emotionally-based.

We have a representative form of government in this country and our state. We elect officials to represent our best interest as residents of North Carolina. Lawmakers amend statutes all the time but the North Carolina Constitution can only be changed by ballot referendum, or we the people. This is why it is so essential to take these ballot measures seriously.

All these amendments are conservative measures to protect your rights as residents of North Carolina. The below amendments are listed in the same order as is on your ballot with a synopsis of what each amendment will mean once passed:

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

We always assumed we had this right, but it is only by statute we do. This amendment consecrates this God-given right in the N.C. Constitution. It is a protective measure.

My advice: Vote for this amendment

2. 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.

Currently, the perpetrators in most crimes have more rights than victims. This amendment would allow provisions to remedy some of this by informing the victim of proceedings and the whereabouts of the convicted and would allow for full and timely restitution.

My advice: Vote for this amendment

3. Constitutional amendment to reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a minimum allowable rate of 7 percent.

The current income tax rate is 5.49 percent. This amendment would cap the rate at 7 percent. The current cap is 10 percent. This protects the taxpayer. Simple enough.

Vote for this amendment

4. 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.

Currently the governor appoints judicial vacancies between elections. Once passed, this amendment would utilize a “Judicial Merit Commission” that evaluates each candidate and passes the names to the General Assembly. The governor then chooses from two candidates supplied by the NCGA. This process removes any question of favoritism, partisanship or cronyism.

My advice: Vote for this amendment

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

The General Assembly would have the power to appoint no more than four members of a political party to this eight-member board. Again, we have a representative form of government. To preserve voter integrity, the Board of Elections must be completely nonpartisan. There is no room for party politics when it comes to your vote counting.

My advice: Vote for this amendment

6. Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.

This amendment would require identification at the polls prior to casting a ballot. Voter ID has been struck down by the courts in the past. If not brought into law, voter integrity will always be at stake. Thirty-four states already have this provision in place and it works just fine. There is simply no reason for Voter ID not to be law.

My advice: Vote for this amendment

Please vote! Your most fundamental and important right is to vote! As previously emphasized, we all are subject to a representative form of government. We the people elect representatives to speak for us. If you don’t vote you really have no right to complain about much of anything … except maybe the weather. See you at the polls, rain or shine!

Please see these additional sites for more information on the amendments:

http://voterintegrityproject.com/

https://www.johnlocke.org/

https://www.nc.gop/2018_constitutional_amendments

https://www.nccivitas.org/civitas-review/forms-d-might-required-going-vote/

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