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Primary concerns

by YES! Staff

It is a foregone conclusion that North Carolina is in play for the 2012 General election, and the Democrats augmented that reality by choosing to hold their national convention in Charlotte this year, from Sept. 3-6, well before the election scheduled for Nov. 6.

But as always, the real action comes well before Election Day, in the primary, which happens this year on May 8.

You might think that primaries are secret elections based on voter turnout. In the last even-year election just 14 percent of registered voters made it out to the polls. And in the last presidential year, 2008, even the drawn-out contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — which made the NC primary actually matter in the selection of a presidential candidate for the first time in decades — brought just 36 percent of registered voters to the polls.

The primary matters this year as well, and not just because of the close races unfolding between Republican candidates vying for the chance to unseat Obama. We predict that the outcome of this imbroglio will not be settled before May, and that once again the people of North Carolina will have a voice in choosing the man who will face off against the incumbent.

If that’s not enough to bring people out to the polls, there’s the matter of the governor’s raced which was just blown wide open by the announcement by sitting Gov. Bev Perdue that she would not be seeking a second term.

If that’s not enough to bring people out to the polls, there’s the matter of the governor’s raced which was just blown wide open by the announcement by sitting Gov. Bev Perdue that she would not be seeking a second term. Her reason, to preserve the integrity of her work on education, surely tells at least part of the story, but her weak numbers against challenger and former Charlotte mayor (and Jamestown native) Pat McCrory likely had something to do with it.

Rushing in to fill the gap were some predictable names — Lt. Gov.

Walter Dalton and former US Rep. Bob Etheridge, to name two — and, if the press releases we get each week are to be believed, the possibility of Rep. Brad Miller, who was drawn out of his district by the Republican-controlled Congress this year.

And then there’s Amendment 1, which seeks to further define marriage in our state by amending our constitution — remember, we already define marriage as between one man and one woman, but Amendment 1 says that, “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State,” outlawing civil unions and ensuring that same-sex couples married in other states will never, ever move here to buy property, start businesses or take jobs.

Amendment 1 is on the primary ballot as a referendum this year, but while the Republican lawmakers who introduced the bill thought they’d benefit from voter turnout in the presidential race, the vacuum left by Perdue’s departure makes the outcome anything but a foregone conclusion. 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

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