Editorial: Weeks before General Election

Editorial: Weeks before General Election
September 06
05:00 2018

OK, Labor Day is over. Now it’s time to concentrate on the General Election on Nov. 6, which is about nine weeks away. But then, if you are an early voter, you have less time than that, about six weeks. Education is the key to voting this year.

Local items will be on the ballot.

Winston-Salem will have five bonds on the ballot in 2018. You approved city-sponsored bonds in 2014, but these are new ones.

The bonds cover:

*$43.7 million for streets and sidewalks.

*$31 million for parks and recreation.

*$21.1 million for public safety facilities.

*$14.5 million for economic development.

*$11.7 million for housing.

Forsyth County will have a quarter-cent county sales tax on the ballot in November.  It would apply to purchases in Forsyth County, except gas and groceries. The money raised by the tax would go to pay for the debt from building the new courthouse that will be built next to the County Government Center on Chestnut Street. The current courthouse was built in 1975. The county will be voting today, Thursday, Sept. 6, on who will build the new courthouse to the tune of $120 million.

Oh, the N.C. General Assembly can’t be outdone. It has overcome several legal challenges to the proposed six constitutional amendments it voted on initially earlier this year. The last challenge from the NAACP was not successful, as of Tuesday, Sept. 4. The GOP lawmakers called several special sessions to fix items and do what they needed to do to get those amendments on the ballot. They spent taxpayer money doing it, too.

The proposed amendments cover:

*Protecting the right of the people to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife.

*Strengthening protections for victims of crime, establishing certain absolute basic rights for victims and ensuring the enforcement of these rights.

*Establishing a bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement to administer ethics and election laws, appointed by the General Assembly (not the governor).

*Implementing a nonpartisan merit-based system that relies on professional qualifications instead of political influence when nominating justices and judges to be selected to fill vacancies that occur between judicial elections.

*Reducing the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of 7 percent.

*Requiring voters to provide photo identification before voting in person.

Right now, 12 items will be on the Forsyth County ballot, not to mention the people running for office. (If you don’t live in Winston-Salem, you won’t be voting on the bond items.)

One-Stop Early Voting begins on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and ends on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. Early Voting will be conducted at the Forsyth County Government Center, 201 N. Chestnut St., and 10 additional satellite sites. Go to for a listing of the Early Voting locations, dates and times and other voting information.

Remember, a vote is a terrible thing to waste. Be knowledgeable and know before you go.

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