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Early voting at record levels leading up to North Carolina election

Amendment One Community/Meta

By Jacob Combs

Early voting in the weeks before the May 8 primary election in North Carolina in which voters will decide the fate of the anti-gay Amendment One is off to a strong start, with turnout expected to set a record for any primary election since the state instituted same-day registration and voting in 2000.  As the Raleigh-Durham News and Observer reports, the first week of early voting this year was even stronger than the first week of the 2008 presidential primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, with almost 12,000 more votes cast this year than 2008.  Including mail-in ballots, almost 122,000 ballots have been cast since early voting began on April 19.

While this promising head-start is significant, it only marks the beginning of what will certainly be a race to the finish line.  The early voting turnout so far represents only two percent of registered voters, and early voting will no doubt pick up as May 8 approaches: in 2008, 70 percent of early votes were cast in the final six days.  That means that this week is absolutely crucial: with that six-day period beginning on Thursday, our allies fighting Amendment One have about three days to effect what may be the most important voter education of the campaign.  And once those final six days begin, it’ll take an aggressive push on the ground to get voters to polls either before or on election day.

In an editorial published yesterday, the New York Times came out against Amendment One, highlighting the negative consequences it could have for gay and straight couples alike:

North Carolina already has a law barring same-sex marriage, but the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature is not satisfied. It devised a measure to enshrine this obvious discrimination in the State Constitution and placed it on the ballot of the state’s May 8 primary election — a test of tolerance versus bigotry that ought to be watched closely nationwide.

In their zeal, lawmakers got careless with the wording of the measure, known as Amendment One. It would constitutionally prohibit recognition not just of same-sex marriages, but of other legal arrangements like civil unions and domestic partnerships. That could harm all unmarried couples, imperiling some children’s health insurance benefits, along with child custody arrangements and safeguards against domestic violence.

With a little over a week to go before the election, the No on Amendment One side has our work cut out for us.  But as these early voting numbers show, although we may still face an uphill battle, we are going to make this election as competitive as possible.

What you can do to help defeat Amendment One:Goal Thermometer

1. Contribute to the campaign on ActBlue so they have the resources they need to get our message out.

2. Sign up for a Courageous Conversation about Amendment One with someone you know in NC.

3. Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

4. Download social media tools and yard signs to show your opposition to Amendment 1.

5. Volunteer to Call for Equality – a GOTV phone banking effort against Amendment 1.

6. Sign up to help get out the vote in NC yourself! Courage Campaign is arranging out-of-state caravans and travel assistance is available.

38 Comments

  • 1. Sagesse  |  April 30, 2012 at 11:19 am

    @

  • 2. _BK_  |  April 30, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for the updates! Crossing my fingers for the next week.

  • 3. Str8Grandmother  |  April 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    What does early voting mean as far as votes go? Is it projected/assumed/guessed at that the early votes are for Discrimination or against Discrimination?

  • 4. Seth from Maryland  |  April 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    This is so crazy , supporters of Amendment one shooting a real gun at a no on 1 yard sign
    http://youtu.be/5DKtT-7gwMI

  • 5. AnonyGrl  |  April 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    NOM is running a story about man who is a "SSM supporter" and who "beat" an elderly woman "on her way home from church", over a disagreement about her "Yes" sign. However, as far as I can determine, the story is only on facebook so far, and he "beat her" with his car door.

    I am guessing that there is a bit more to it… like perhaps he drove her home from church, they disagreed about her yard sign, she was berating him, he tried to get into his car to leave and the door bumped her. That would be typical of NOM's reporting strategy, wouldn't it?

  • 6. Reformed  |  April 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Assuming by now everyone has seen the post regarding this a joe.my.god. (The police department is denying that this happened). If the election process were a court of law, this would result in the declaration of a mis trial.

    Note Maggie's headline: Breaking News: Elderly Woman Beaten For Supporting NC Marriage Amendment. (As if it were throughly verified). This from a woman who can't string two sentences together without saying National Review or Cato Institute. I dont know what these are, but I assume they are journalism related and therefor maybe they could educate her on the need to verify facts and sources.

  • 7. chris  |  April 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Show me an election where record turnout has favored our side and I'll be optimistic. :(

  • 8. Seth from Maryland  |  April 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    in Arizona 2006 we won + in Washington State we a ballot battle over domestic partnerships in 2009

  • 9. Str8Grandmother  |  April 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I got it to embed Seth.
    These people are NUTZ!!!
    Like Crazy Pants NUTS!

  • 10. Kate  |  April 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    It's enough for NOM for a story to "maybe" be true. It could have been true, right???? And someone MIGHT do that in the future, right? I tried to post that interpretation on the NOMblog, but of course they won't let me.

  • 11. Kate  |  April 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    They also posted that story about the couple who "has become" the record-holder for marriage, 83 years. The problem being that neither of them is alive. One died in 2008 and the other in 2010. Could thing Guiness isn't vetting NOM.

  • 12. Larry  |  April 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    The win in Arizona was due mainly to the amendment banning domestic partnership benefits for both same and opposite sex couples. Once the language was changed to target only same sex couples, the ban passed in 2008.

  • 13. Reformed  |  April 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    IMharage is between one man and one woman huh? :)

  • 14. Str8Grandmother  |  April 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Seth right after I embedded this crazy gun video on P8TT, I sent an e-mail to Joe My God and he posted it right away. I gave you props in a comment for posting this at P8TT.

  • 15. Str8Grandmother  |  April 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    But that is the same thing we have in North Carolina, they are banning anyone straight or gay from any recognition other than opposite sex marriage.

  • 16. bythesea  |  April 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    The early voting so far has been very heavily from the most liberal counties (Durham and the county that contains Asheville, etc) on that basis it is a good sign, though not a guarentee it will be defeated. That said extremely high turnout from liberal, Democratic, and gay tolerant areas is probably a positive sign, or at least hopeful…

  • 17. diego  |  April 30, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    here in this article is an analysis of the early voting:
    http://www.chapelboro.com/After-One-Week-Strong-E

  • 18. Alan_Eckert  |  April 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Hello fellow P8TTs! I've been incredibly busy. I come to you with a question: Does anyone know where I can find out the city-by-city results of Prop 8 in Alameda County? I'm trying to get some data for a project I'm working on.

    Many thanks, and No on 1!

  • 19. Sagesse  |  April 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Last weekend there were large GOTV rallies at the college campuses, with the objective of heading to the advance polls.

  • 20. Str8Grandmother  |  April 30, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    [youtube 4OsyacYBIRA&feature=youtu.be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OsyacYBIRA&feature=youtu.be youtube]

  • 21. Seth from Maryland  |  April 30, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    thanks Str8Grandmother , i was really shocked by that video

  • 22. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I just don't know, folks. I'm tempted to donate, but I feel very powerless. It's not like I can give a huge amount, and it feels like it will go right down the drain in the face of hatred, fear, and ignorance overpowering the sensible in North Carolina. Can anyone talk me down a bit?

  • 23. thca  |  April 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Straight Ally If I consider the efforts of Scottie, Adam, Jacob and Jeremy have put into covering Amendment 1, I concluded long ago that NC has an importance that is not obvious to me. They are putting all of themselves into this endeavor. And are are asking for help. Why would they raise the bar from $25000 to $30.000 unless they thought $$s would make a deciding difference. That was sufficient for me to donate.

  • 24. MightyAcorn  |  April 30, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I'd startbwith the Alameda County Registrar of Voters: http://www.acgov.org/rov/. I don't know if results are compiled by city, but they'd be the ones to know.

  • 25. Kate  |  May 1, 2012 at 7:32 am

    It concerns me that with such a long voting period, the announcements of which way the vote is going can only succeed in bringing out more of the opposition in droves, people who really planned on bothering to vote because they were so sure it would go their way without them. It's like giving them chance after chance to show up, and it gives their churches many opportunities to keep preaching at them to go vote their prejudices.

  • 26. Kate  |  May 1, 2012 at 7:33 am

    *planned on NOT bothering to vote*

    jeez

  • 27. AnonyGrl  |  May 1, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Here is the thing… every little bit helps, every time we do it. We wouldn't even be DISCUSSING this today if not for the small, seemingly useless efforts of hundreds of thousands of people donating dollar here or there, having a courageous conversation, standing up and saying "This is wrong" to a crowd that is against us, writing one letter, making one phone call… And even if we LOSE this one, the fact that we are so close only goes to prove that next time, or the time after, we will win. Because step by step, two forward, one back sometimes, we are winning.

    No matter how hopeless it looks, remember that each drop of water works to wash away that huge boulder, until the boulder is gone and only the river remains.

  • 28. Name  |  May 1, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Off topic: I'm not a christian, but if you are you should sign this petition– Christians: Affirm that same-sex relationships are not inherently immoral https://www.change.org/petitions/christians-affir

  • 29. Waxr  |  May 1, 2012 at 8:43 am

    A large voter turnout means that if amendment one loses, there will be accusations of illegal voting.

  • 30. bythesea  |  May 1, 2012 at 9:00 am

    If it does lose there would have been that accusation regardless of turnout. The far right has convinced themselves that they can never legitimately lose an election and that voter fraud simply must explain it when they do.

  • 31. Alan_Eckert  |  May 1, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Ahh that's what I needed. Thanks. My town had more than 80% vote against Prop 8 with an 83% registered voter turnout.

  • 32. DaveP  |  May 1, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Did anyone see the Daily Show last night? There was a short segment on Amendment One. There was also a great segment with Zach Wahls as guest (from the youtube viral video "Zach Wahls speaks about Family"). Quite a big chunk of the show was about LGBT rights issues.

  • 33. Jamie  |  May 1, 2012 at 9:27 am

    The average age of voters so far is 58.

  • 34. Jamie  |  May 1, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Unfortunately, our side hasn't made that connection yet. It's almost like they want to lose this election so that they can file a lawsuit instead…

  • 35. Jamie  |  May 1, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Wow. That's phenomenal. What's the average voter turn-out in California, something like 25% I think?

  • 36. Alan_Eckert  |  May 1, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Nov, 2008, California had a 78.38% turnout (at least for the Presidential election). And that was out of registered voters, not eligible voters.

  • 37. Lymis  |  May 1, 2012 at 11:35 am

    The Joe.My.God updates report that a conversation with the local cops indicates that it turns out that the woman in question was not at her own home, but stopped at her sister's and got into an argument with someone over a sign about the Amendment, but it was unclear whether it was a sign for or against the Amendment, and that the car door was hers, not his – and that she was not injured.

    So it sounds like either she picked a fight with a neighbor over his sign, or he picked a fight with her over her sister's sign, and that she got into her car and he shut the car door on her (which, admittedly, could still have been slamming it, and could certainly have been intimidating.) But the was not "beaten" with anyone's car door.

    My uninformed guess is that he "slammed the car door on me" – meaning that she shut the door when she was in the car, but that is was picked up and run with as him "slamming the car door into her" – an entirely different thing. I could be wrong on this part.

  • 38. Str8Grandmother  |  May 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    So was everybody Seth, that video went Viral. Even made the South Carolina t.v. news.
    It got taken down. I saved a local copy to my computer tomorrow I work on putting it back up again, off shore.

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