By Nathan Ham
Six Constitutional Amendments were on the ballot for the 2018 Midterm Elections. Four of the six received enough votes to pass across the state. In Watauga County, however, only one of the amendments had enough votes to pass.
An overwhelming majority shot down the two amendments that failed. The amendment to create a nonpartisan judicial merit commission was defeated 66.9 percent to 33.1 percent with over two million voters coming out against that amendment. This amendment would have allowed the legislature to fill judicial vacancies instead of the governor.
The other amendment that was defeated was the restructuring of the board of ethics and elections. 61.65 percent voted against that measure with once again over two million voters against that constitutional amendment. This amendment would have allowed legislative officials to appoint members to the board.
Among the other amendments to pass was the requirement of a photo ID to vote. This passed with a 55.51 percent approval to 44.49 percent of voters against the measure.
An amendment to put a maximum income tax rate in effect at 7.0 percent passed, 57.37 percent to 42.63 percent. The amendment to strengthen victim’s rights passed, 62.11 percent to 37.89 percent and an amendment to protect the right to hunt and fish passed 57.13 percent to 42.87 percent.
In Watauga County, the amendment to strengthen victim’s rights was the only one to pass.
Watauga County Amendment Vote Totals
Amendment 1 – Right to hunt and fish
For: 11,697 (49.92 percent)
Against: 11,736 (50.08 percent)
Amendment 2 – Victim’s rights
For: 12,529 (53.28 percent)
Against: 10,986 (46.72 percent)
Amendment 3 – Maximum income tax rate at 7.0 percent
For: 11,305 (48.07 percent)
Against: 12,214 (51.93 percent)
Amendment 4 – Require photo ID to vote
For: 11,265 (47.12 percent)
Against: 12,640 (52.88 percent)
Amendment 5 – Nonpartisan Judicial Merit Commission
For: 6,380 (27.87 percent)
Against: 16,513 (72.13 percent)
Amendment 6 – Bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections
For: 7,584 (32.98 percent)
Against: 15,410 (67.02 percent)