A vote for solid pieces of legislation

Published 6:49 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2018

When a Beaufort County resident goes to the polls this year, he or she will have the ability to vote “For” or “Against” six amendments to the North Carolina Constitution.

It’s an interesting assortment of amendments — for example, the “Right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife” amendment. There are several different takes on this amendment. N.C. Rep. Chuck McGrady, a Republican representing Henderson County, said he doesn’t know if he’s going to vote for it because , he said, “The last time I looked around, I don’t believe hunting and fishing were really being threatened by anything, so why do you need it in the constitution?” It’s an interesting question because the amendment would not change, or prevent from being enacted, any local hunting and fishing ordinances that are more strict than the state’s.

So, what’s the purpose of it?

Another state representative, Rep. Susan Fisher, a Democrat representing Buncombe County, believes the only reason the hunting and fishing amendment is on the ballot is an attempt to motivate a certain demographic to get out and vote — motivating voters with the belief that hunting and fishing rights are threatened. They are not, according to the president of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council, David Whitmire. Whitmire said he doesn’t see any immediate threats to hunting and fishing. Several other legislators, both Republican and Democrat, agree.

Some hunting and fishing groups believe the amendment is an attempt to stop the downward trend of hunting and fishing. While hunting has decreased nationwide over the past decade, that’s not the case in North Carolina; hunting licenses have actually increased by 36 percent over that time. The number of fishing licenses has increased by 37 percent.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission hasn’t taken an official stance on the amendment, though one would think that organization would have something to say about it.

If the purpose is to get voters to the polls, then it follows that it’s the bait to draw people to vote for one or more of the other five amendments, several of which do not include how that amendment will be implemented, nor how the state will pay for implementation.

Be careful what you vote for. Find out what your voting for. Don’t vote for an idea. Vote for a solid piece of legislation. You can see for yourself whether any of these amendments are, in fact, solid pieces of legislation here