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Your vote matters: learn more about the candidates and the constitutional amendments

Posted on 10/05/18

Government is broken. Politicians don’t seek common ground, arguing rather than creating results. But critical issues like Social Security, Medicare and prescription drug costs are all on the line. That’s why your voice matters. Let’s hold politicians accountable by voting this November.

The election is coming and with big issues for lawmakers to address, we need our voices heard. (find your polling place)

North Carolinians ages 50 plus are the state’s most influential voters. But there’s only one way politicians will work on the issues that really matter to us: We have to make them do it and it all starts with your participation on Election Day.

In North Carolina, this election takes on added significance with six state constitutional amendments on the ballot.

A new poll from Elon University finds most people don’t know much about the amendments, and in some cases people think the amendments would have the opposite effect of what they would really do.

In addition to asking the candidates where they stand on issues like Medicare, Social Security, support for family caregivers and controlling prescription drug costs, please take a look at the amendments and the ballot language and learn more before you vote. (Source:  News and Observer Politics and Government.)

1) Create a voter ID requirement for in-person voting. The legislature will write the details if the amendment passes.

AARP opposes any measure that could restrict voting access for older adults. If passed, AARP will work to ensure that there is no infringement on the voting rights of the elderly, people with disabilities, and transient populations.

2) Make the maximum possible state income tax rate 7 percent, lowering the cap from 10 percent. This would not change anyone’s current tax bill, since the North Carolina personal income tax rate is now 5.499 percent.

AARP opposes this tax cap because this formula does not allow for the fact that the fastest-growing demographic groups, such as older adults and people with disabilities, are costly to serve. Nor does it take into account states’ need to deal with unpredictable costs such as natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or sudden increases in costs imposed by the federal government.

3) Protect hunting and fishing, and make hunting and fishing “a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.”

AARP does not have a policy position on this amendment.

4) Give legislators a major role in choosing who should fill judicial vacancies, limiting the governor’s power.

AARP does not have a policy position on this amendment.

5) Change the State Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement from nine members to eight members, leaving four members from each party but removing the ninth seat that’s now reserved for an unaffiliated person. The amendment would also take away the governor’s power to choose members of the elections board, and give that power to the legislature.

AARP does not have a policy position on this issue.

6) Add rights in the legal system for victims of felony crimes.

AARP does not have a policy position on this amendment.

Photo: Getty Images

VOTER REGISTRATION

(From the NC Board of Elections) The deadline to register to vote in North Carolina October 12. The voter registration application must be received by the applicant’s county boards of elections by this date. If an application is received after the deadline, the application may still be timely if it was mailed and it is postmarked on or before the voter registration deadline; otherwise, the application will not be processed until after the election.  Click here to download a voter registration application.

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