North Carolina residents areheading to the polls today to vote on a controversial amendment banning gay marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships in the state's constitution.
The Courage Campaign and popular LGBT blog Joe. My. God are reporting that some residents are encountering what is described as a possible election fraud as they prepare to vote on Amendment One, which will act in addition to the state's statutory prohibition against recognition of same-sex marriage.
According to the reports:
All, we're getting reports here in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Raleigh (which are base areas for us, e.g. anti-Amendment 1) of precincts handing out INCORRECT ballots. In North Carolina, 17-year-olds can vote in the statewide primary (e.g., for governor, etc.) if they turn 18 by November 6th. However, they CANNOT vote on Amendment 1 in this primary -- they can only vote for candidates -- therefore they are being handed ballots WITHOUT Amendment 1. That is proper election procedure.
The problem is, 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. That will enable the campaign's field team to investigate and correct this as soon as possible.
A number of high-profile religious leaders -- including Beacon Baptist Church Pastor Tim Rabon and Pastor Sean Harris of Fayetteville's Barean Baptist Church -- have spoken out in favor of the proposed amendment, and as The New York Times reports, recent polls of the state and an analysis of past ballot initiatives in other states suggest that the measure is likely to pass.