Polls opened at 6:30 this morning in North Carolina for a day of primary voting where voters will choose their nominees for all major offices, including Governor, Lt. Governor, and of course President. In some districts, nominees will be chosen for state and US House races. Haven’t heard any turnout predictions yet statewide but I did read recently that here in Meck. County early voting turnout was down from 2008 – for what it’s worth.
This would be considered your standard run of the mill Presidential year primary in North Carolina if it weren’t for Amendment One aka “the Marriage Amendment” being on the ballot, a proposed amendment that has generated a swarm of debate and controversy not just on a state level, but nationally as well. I’m personally disgusted with the tone the debate took in the final couple of weeks of campaigning, with some opponents calling those who support the amendment “bigots” while some proponents have said any Christian who votes against it will “go to hell.” It’s only anecdotal evidence, but the people I know or who have come across the last several weeks who have expressed how they feel about it one way or the other have put a lot of thought into it. I know conservatives who are voting against it not because they are pro-alternative forms of marriage but because they find the wording troublesome and believe it will negatively impact existing domestic partnerships. I know liberals who are voting for it because they are traditionalists on marriage and want to see existing state law strengthened and believe adding this to the state Constitution will do that.
Contrary to popular belief – promoted mostly by out of state agenda-driven militants (with a distinct money advantage) who sadly want to turn this into another Prop 8 nightmare, most people here take adding something to the state Constitution very seriously and aren’t just voting yay or nay on a whim. I worry that if it passes, the militants will prevail in the PR war by unfairly painting this state as “hateful and bigoted” when I know it is not. Good people can vote for or against this amendment.
As to my predictions on the Republican side in terms of nominees, Pat McCrory (former Charlotte mayor) will easily win the nomination for Governor – the question is by how much. I’m hoping to see Dan Forest become the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor, but that race may go to a runoff next month. The “hot” US House primary is the race to replace the retiring Sue Myrick in NC-09 – there are numerous candidates for that seat and pollsters are predicting a likely run-off in that race as well.
Anyway, click here to find your polling place and to print a copy of your sample ballot, if you haven’t already. Happy voting.