Statement from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice Regarding Changes to the Appearances of Proposed Constitutional Amendments on the 2018 General Election Ballot

Voting Rights

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina General Assembly today passed House Bill 3, Ballot Designations/Referenda, during a hastily called special legislative session. If the measure becomes law, the Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission will lose its well-established authority to draft short captions that would appear on November’s ballot for every North Carolina voter describing six proposed state constitutional amendments. Instead of descriptions created by the commission, the ballots would be designated only with the words “Constitutional Amendment.”
After the Legislature’s passage of House Bill 3, Kareem Crayton, Interim Executive Director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice issued the following statement:
“Legislative leaders have made clear their intention to keep the voters in the dark about the true impact of the proposed constitutional amendments that will appear on this November’s ballot. Free and fair elections depend on voters knowing exactly what they are being asked to decide. The vague and deceptive ballot language mandated by this legislature undercuts the work of a bipartisan commission whose duty is to assist voters in understanding proposed amendments.
“These desperate, last-minute efforts by this legislature to sugar-coat their scheme to disenfranchise voters undermines the principle of checks and balances and erodes public confidence in elections. Their expensive effort at rule-rigging is shameful, petty politics at its very worst.”