Cherokee group aims for 2021 constitution referendum

An effort to adopt a constitution for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians through a referendum question failed to come to fruition this year, but the grassroots group Citizens for a Constitution isn’t giving up, now setting its sights on a referendum question in 2021. 

Cherokee constitution resolution withdrawn

An effort to get a proposed constitution on the Cherokee ballot as a referendum question this September will not come to fruition following Tribal Council’s June 13 vote to withdraw the legislation.

Constitution proposed for Cherokee

Cherokee voters will have the chance to give their nation a long-awaited constitution if Tribal Council approves a referendum question proposed for the September ballot. 

Proposed N.C. Constitutional amendments leave unanswered questions

Most years, voters head to the polls with a few candidates or a political party in mind, push some buttons, and go home. But this year’s ballot also contains six proposed amendments to the North Carolina Constitution.

November ballot referenda

Although legislators have been called back to Raleigh for a special session that may include modification of the descriptions of the six ballot referenda up for consideration by voters, the substance of the proposed constitutional amendments will not likely change. 

Not so fast: ballot referenda bring lawmakers back to Raleigh

The polls are usually thought of as a place to vote for or against people, but this year in North Carolina, they will also be a place to vote for or against ideas — six of them, in fact; a spate of proposed additions and amendments to the state’s constitution will go before voters Nov. 6, after making it out of the General Assembly’s spring session with the required 60 percent level of support. 

‘Sore loser’ bill would block ballot access for some candidates

North Carolina Republicans were quick to congratulate the first minor political party to gain official recognition by the State Board of Elections, but they haven’t been quite as welcoming to the latest. 

Minor parties seek NC ballot access

Disillusionment with the two-party American political system has been around for a long time, but with a polarizing President in the White House and gerrymandered districts that tend to push major party candidates towards more extreme primary election positions, it’s rarely been higher.

“The fastest growing group in North Carolina is neither Democrat nor Republican, but it’s unaffiliated,” said Dr. Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University. “There’s actually more unaffiliated voters than Republicans in the state right now.”

Gun debate a microcosm of a deeper challenge

By William Everett • Guest Columnist

Garret Woodward’s Opinion piece “After tragedy in Vegas, where to from here?” (Oct. 4-10) leads us to wider questions about the fragility and peril of our country’s public life. Not only are our fellow citizens dying in mass shootings. Our republic itself is under assault. The integrity of the public arenas that constitute the lifeblood of our republican order is imperiled by the threat and fear of violence, while the fog of lies and a flood of political dark money pollute the reasonable debate at the heart of republican self-governance. The failure of governance through informed and reasonable argument creates a vicious circle of violent speech and violent acts. The freedom of self-governance cannot survive under conditions of violence and the threat of violence. Our freedom as citizens rests not in our possession of guns but in our capacity to engage in a public life of reasonable debate about the common good. Throughout history the collapse of the public life underlying republican governance has created the conditions for despotism, tyranny, and dictatorship. Despots arise who campaign on collective fear and govern by personal greed.

The letter and the spirit: Local governments wrestle with prayer

Public prayer in government has long been a contentious issue, but a recent court ruling has North Carolina municipalities scrambling to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the law while awaiting the challenges and changes that will inevitably come.

“I think towns that have practices similar to Rowan County will have to keep an eye on how the case progresses,” said William Morgan, Canton’s town attorney for the past three years.

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