What Kind Of Election Shenanigans Plagued NC’s Amendment One Vote?

Though not likely serious enough to spark an investigation, a number of anomalies plagued yesterday’s Amendment One vote, which saw the passage of a ban on recognizing any union except for heterosexual marriage.

The Courage Campaign reported incidents in liberal towns like Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Carrboro where voters were being given incorrect ballots. The Tar Heel State allows 17-year-olds to vote in statewide primaries for elected officials, provided they turn 18 by November 18. But they can’t vote on amendments and referenda—so special ballots without Amendment One were printed.

According to CC’s Adam Bink:

The reports we are getting are that people OVER 17 are also being handed these ballots WITHOUT Amendment 1 in what would normally be heavily anti-Amendment 1 precincts (Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Raleigh). We are working on testimonials from voters who have experienced this — in the meantime, if you report on Amendment 1, PLEASE ask readers to call 1-866-OUR-VOTE if they experience this in NC, or know someone who did.

And at the Devon Park United Methodist Church in Wilmington, NC (don’t ask us why a church is a polling station), voters were greeted by a sign that read, “A true marriage is male and female and God” before they went inside to pull the lever.

Officials say the sign—on the church’s official nameplate, not a flyer or poster—is legal.

“Clearly their message is standing for a political position or an electoral position,” the UNC Center for Civil Rights’ Elizabeth Haddix told Star News Online. “Whether or not that sign violates that statute, we’re still looking into.”

It’s a bit of a moot point, as the final count showed more people in the precinct voted against Amendment One:  Of 773 ballots, 482 people were against the measure and 291 were for it.

 Photo: William Clifford