Reece Gardner: North Carolina's 2018 constitutional amendments
In this week's column, I want to touch briefly about some of the constitutional amendments that will be on our ballots in the upcoming general election and what they might mean to us. But first, I want to give an example of how our society might ease some of the screaming and finger-pointing that seems to be occurring more frequently than ever.
Syndicated columnist Walter Williams wrote recently about how we might at least temper some of this confrontation by applying his "Mom's Rule." This occurred during his youthful years. He said on occasion he and his sister would have lunch in their mother's absence, and his mother would ask either he or his sister to divide the last piece of cake or pie.
He wrote, "More often than not, an argument would ensue about the fairness of the cut, but those arguments ended when Mom came up with a rule: Whoever cuts the cake let's the other take the first piece. As if by magic or divine intervention, fairness emerged and arguments ended, because no matter who did the cutting, there was an even distribution."
And now to the constitutional amendments: There will be six amendments on the ballot. Today, I will address three of these, and then cover the other three in a future column.
H.B. 1092 -- 'Require Photo ID to Vote'
Voters would have to present photo identification to vote in person if this bill is approved in November. The bill passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly. The Legislature previously approved voter ID, but that law was struck down by federal courts. If voters approve it this coming November, it will be a permanent part of our governmental system. North Carolina is the last state in the Southeast to not have some form of Voter ID at the polls.
H.B. 551 -- 'Strengthening Victims' Rights'
This amendment will offer victims of violent crimes better help, more access to court proceedings and the ability to hire their own attorney.
H.B. 677 -- 'Protect the Right to Hunt and Fish'
This bill would enshrine the right to hunt and fish in the NC Constitution, potentially opening existing Sunday hunting restrictions to challenges in court.
A recent Civitas Institute poll on these amendments revealed the following results: Photo ID, 69 percent support; Strengthening Victims' Rights, 79 percent support; and Protect The Right to Hunt and Fish, 72 percent support.
And now, a little humor:
Scientists created a six-legged turkey for families who fight over the drumsticks. But the turkeys escaped and with six legs, no one can catch them. And this thought: We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone! Amen.
We will discuss the other three amendments in a future column.