Published: May 01, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: May 01, 2012 12:30 PM
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Amendment One on different sides of ballot
Posted April 25 by Mark Schultz
We got an email last week from a reader who was concerned Amendment One was being treated differently on Democratic and Republican ballots in Durham County. We looked into it and found the reader was incorrect. The amendment appears on the back of the ballot for both Democrats and Republicans (it's on the front for Libertarians) in Durham County.
But in Orange County, there is a discrepancy between the two major party ballots: The proposed constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman and banning other forms of domestic legal unions appears on the front for Democrats and Libertarians and on the back for Republicans.
We asked local elections directors about that. They said the order of the ballot is set by state law and noted that on ballots which continue on the back, the ballot alerts people there is voting on both sides.
The Amendment appears on the back of the Republican ballots in Orange County because there are more Republican candidates ahead of it. In some cases, the Orange County GOP ballots also list a state House and/or the Orange County Board of Education election on the back along with the amendment question. In one case the amendment is the only issue on the back.
Democrats lead all registered voters in Durham and Orange counties (59.7 percent in Durham and 51 percent in Orange). In Durham there are 113,815 Democrats; 47,637 unaffiliated voters; 28,809 Republicans and 363 Libertarians, elections director Michael Perry said. In Orange, there are 53,280 Democrats, 32,239 unaffiliated voters, 18,419 Republicans, and 349 Libertarians, elections director Tracy Reams said.
We asked the Orange County Republican Party, which supports Amendment One, if it is concerned the question appears on the back of the ballot.
"We think it's a minor concern from our point of view," spokesman Stephen Xavier said. "The campaign has such high visibility I would be shocked if people missed the vote."
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