Doing what’s right

Published 5:12 pm Sunday, November 11, 2018

Six amendments that would change the North Carolina Constitution were proposed by the Republican majority General Assembly this election season.

Four of them passed. Two, however, did not, though Republican legislators and the party were pushing for voters to pass all six.

It’s easy to make the assumption that people will vote along party lines and with the ideas, such as these amendments, the party espouses. It’s easy to believe that voter, and campaign ad, fatigue prompt people to pay less attention than they normally would.

But the failure of North Carolina voters to pass these two amendments presents success: voters were paying close attention and chose to do what was right, rather than do what the party thought right. These amendments that would have shifted power: one, by taking the ability to appoint judges away from the governor and hand it over the majority party in the legislature; and two, creating a constant stalemate at the state Board of Elections and Ethics by tossing out a member, having an eight-member (four Democrats, four Republicans) board, meaning all decisions would be handed over to, again, the majority party in the legislature.

Widely hailed as a “power grab,” North Carolina voters weren’t having it. They thought about what those two amendments would mean and did what was right. Though many vote along party lines, they drew their own lines when it came to giving one party unfair advantage over another.

Here in Beaufort County, we see that as well, especially in relation to the Second Judicial District and the five officials who were up for re-election. Four of them ran unopposed. Another was involved in a rather ugly election battle, but came out the victor. All five of these people are registered Democrats, yet have been elected over and over again in a county where 68 percent of registered voters are Republicans. It’s a testament that Beaufort County voters are casting their ballots for those they believe are doing their job well, not based on the (R) or (D) behind a candidate’s name.

For that, Beaufort County voters should be patting themselves on the back. For paying attention, for voting, for doing what’s right. Let’s keep it up.