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September 18, 2018

Asheville Mid-Term Voting Cheat Sheet

 

You know voting is important but keeping up with politics can be time consuming and confusing. With mid-term elections approaching I've put together a cheat sheet for Ashevillians so you can know WHO you're voting for and WHAT you're voting on. I encourage you to do your own research and have included some additional resources to help get you prepared to vote!

Mid-Term elections are November 6th. Check out this Ballot Cheat Sheet to see who is going to be on your specific ballot and what issues you will be voting on.

VOTE EARLY

In North Carolina, beginning on October 17th to November 3rd, you have the option to vote early via a One Stop location. This means you can cast your ballot in person, before November 6th at a variety of locations provided within your county of residence. Most locations are open from 7am-7pm. You can also do same day voter registration at these locations.
 
 

BALLOT PREVIEW

Mid-Term elections are November 6th. Check out this Ballot Cheat Sheet to see who is going to be on your specific ballot and what issues you will be voting on.
 
 
 
 

US REPRESENTATIVES

United States House of Representatives is the "lower chamber" of Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they make up our legislature. The US has 435 total reps, and North Carolina has 13 reps. The Representatives serve 2 year terms.

If you aren't sure what Congressional District you are voting in, you can look up your voter information here to see. Since I'm an Asheville native and aint got time to make a cheat sheet for all of NC, I'm just providing insight on District 11's reps. You can see which district you are located in below:
 
 
 

 

Phillip Price - Democrat

✔️ Increase funding for education and fair wages for teachers
✔️ Pro Affordable Care Act
✔️ Supports adopting federal education standards
✔️ Anti-Fracking
✔️ Pro gun control
✔️ Climate change and renewable energy, tax credits for renewable energy
✔️ Supports medical marijuana research

Learn more about Phillip Price on his website.

 

Mark Meadows - Republican

✔️ Lower corporate taxes to promote job growth
✔️ Anti Affordable Care Act
✔️ Supports American intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts
✔️ Anti federal education standards, supports handing Common Core standards decisions to the states
✔️ Anti gun control
✔️ Supports funding renewable energy
✔️ Anti federal regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions

Learn more about Mark Meadows on his website.

 

Clif Ingram, Jr. - Libertarian

✔️ Fiscally conservative
✔️ Pro gun control
✔️ Industrial hemp advocate
✔️ Supports legalization of marijuana

Learn more about Clif Ingram on his facebook.

 
Vote Smart provides a handy resource for checking the values of candidates and important topics they do or don't support so that you can make an informed voting decision. Vote Smart's inferred answers are based on previous house votes by the candidate or interviews they have given. Just type in the candidate name you are looking for and then select "positions."
 

 

Forecasting the race for the House

FiveThirtyEight provides a visual forecast model to show predictions for the 2018 House Elections.
 
 
Forecasting the race for the House
 

 

REFERENDUMS

This section of the ballot is where you will be able to vote on specific issues. You will fill in either "For" or "Against." North Carolina does not frequently amend the constitution as some other states do. In fact, our last amendments were the 2012 amendment to ban gay marriage, which was later overturned in federal court, and the 2014 amendment to let criminal defendants waive their right to a jury trial. So it's important you take time to learn about these issues instead of any-many-miney-moing it! Sources linked.
 
 

Referenda Options

1Constitutional amendment protecting the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.
Would prohibit restrictions on hunting and fishing except for laws or rules to "promote wildlife conservation and management ... and preserve the future of hunting and fishing." - Citizen Times

Accused of having political motives to encourage more Republican voters to participate in mid-term elections.
2Constitutional amendment to strengthen protections for victims of crime; to establish certain absolute basic rights for victims; and to ensure the enforcement of these rights.
Would define rights for crime victims into the state constitution, lessening the ability to change or adjust related state laws. Predicted cost is $16.4 million to implement and an additional $30.5 million annually.

The idea is that the changes would improve the chances that victims will be told of hearings or a prisoner's status after conviction. There are concerns that this law would slow down court proceedings, making them more expensive and North Carolina already has a strong victim’s rights law.
3Constitutional amendment to reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of seven percent (7%).
NC's personal income tax rate is currently 5.49%. Amendment would prevent North Carolina from making the tax rate higher than 7 percent. The limit now in the Constitution is 10 percent.

If implemented, local governments could be forced to make up for lost revenue by increasing sales and property taxes but lowering the cap rate would keep the General Assembly from overtaxing in the future.
4Constitutional amendment to change the process for filling judicial vacancies that occur between judicial elections from a process in which the Governor has sole appointment power to a process in which the people of the State nominate individuals to fill vacancies by way of a commission comprised of appointees made by the judicial, executive, and legislative branches charged with making recommendations to the legislature as to which nominees are deemed qualified; then the legislature will recommend at least two nominees to the Governor via legislative action not subject to gubernatorial veto and the Governor will appoint judges from among these nominees.
Give legislators a major role in choosing who should fill judicial vacancies, limiting the governor’s power. - The News&Observer
5Constitutional amendment to require voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.
Require voters to show a photo ID in order to cast an in-person ballot in future elections. Current state law only requires that voters state their name and address when they come to their polling place. The General Assembly has not yet written the actual law that would be enacted if this amendment passes.

The most debated topic of all the amendments in NC. If approved, this language will be added to the state constitution: "Voters offering to vote in person shall present photographic identification before voting. The General Assembly shall enact general laws governing the requirements of such photographic identification, which may include exceptions." There are concerns that this could lead to biases by the General Assembly in addition to the trouble some face in acquiring a photo ID.
6Constitutional amendment to establish an eight-member Bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement in the Constitution to administer ethics and elections law.
Would change the State Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement from 9 members to 8 members, leaving 4 members from each party but removing the 9th seat that’s currently reserved for an unaffiliated person. The amendment would remove the governor’s power to choose members of the elections board, and give that power to the General Assembly.

This amendment would overturn the Supreme Court’s 2017 decision and remove the 9th nonpartisan member of the board. Critics of the amendment note that it could create a 4-4 partisan deadlock issue.
 

 

STATE OFFICES

The upper chamber of the state Congress, the Senate has 50 members that serve for two-year terms. Again, I'm only summarizing Senate District 49.
 

 

Terry Van Duyn - Democrat

✔️ Common sense gun reform
✔️ Anti Fracking
✔️ Increase education funding
✔️ Transparency in government
✔️ Pro Affordable Care Act

Learn more about Terry Van Duyn on her website.

 

Mark Crawford - Republican

✔️ Supports amendments on general election ballot
✔️ Anti Affordable Care Act
✔️ Anti medical and recreational marijuana legalization
✔️ Supports veterans

Learn more about Mark Crawford here.

 

COUNTY AND JUDICIAL OFFICES

I have not covered county and judicial sections of the ballot because AVL Today has a great summary of those that have been elected.
 

 

HAPPY VOTING!

I hope this cheat sheet helps you in making your voting decisions in Asheville. Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!
 

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