A primer for the primary

by YES! Staff

Here’s something you’re going to be reading a lot about in these pages over the next few months.

There’s an election coming up. Two of them, actually: the North Carolina primary election on May 8 and then the general election on Nov. 6.

And like all elections, they matter. A lot. Primary elections matter because, in a lot of cases in our gerrymandered state, the primary serves as the actual election. In an overly Republican district, like, for example, the 6th US Congressional District, where Rep. Howard Coble has held his seat since 1984, a Democrat doesn’t stand a chance. This is by design, a gentlemen’s agreement cut generations ago to insure that both parties have districts they can count on year after year. If Coble wins the primary — which he likely will — the contest on Nov. 6 will most certainly be meaningless. It is this way in most districts, from Congress to the state General Assembly all the way down to county commission. The primary election is where the deck gets stacked.

This year’s North Carolina primary is also important not because of the presidential election — with the exception of the prolonged For our read- 2008 contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the ers who may be NC primary hasn’t had an effect intimidated by on presidential elections in de- the election procades, and this year Mitt Romney cess, who maybe has the GOP nomination sewn up. It’s important because we have a have never voted slate of challengers running for before or only governor after sitting Gov. Bev vote in presiden- Perdue declined a go at a second tial elections term.

Even more important is the on Election Day, voter referendum on a Constitu- it’s time to fully tional amendment, what has come engage. to be known as Amendment 1, an effort to deny equal rights to gay citizens by enshrining discriminatory language in our state constitution.

It would do more than just thwart the rights of gay Americans to enter into civil unions, share healthcare and retirement benefits, and discourage freedom-loving businesses from setting up shop here, but that is the subject for another editorial.

For now it’s enough to know that it’s on the primary ballot, and you can vote on it right now, today, thanks to early voting, which runs through May 5, and thanks to a recent initiative called One-Stop Voting, you can register and vote on the same day.

We won’t presume to tell you which candidates to vote for — everything you need to know about them is on our elections website,, where we have done all the research that you don’t have time to do.

YES! Weekly chooses to exercise its right to express editorial opinion in our publication. In fact we cherish it, considering opinion to be a vital component of any publication. The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration