By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
Although North Carolina’s primary election isn’t until May 8, voters can go ahead and cast their ballots now during early one-stop voting. But, the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, suggests they first check out the candidate responses in the online “Voter Guide for the Primary Election 2012” assembled by the North Carolina Family Policy Counsel.
“This guide, accessible at http://ncfamily.org/voterguide2012/, includes a number of very important issues on which voters will want to hear from the candidates,” said Dr. Creech. “And the site is set up to allow users to not only quickly see the candidates’ ‘yes, no, or undecided’ answers but to click on links to access more detailed explanations of their positions when provided.”
The guide provides responses directly from the candidates about where they stand on issues such as the marriage protection amendment, abortion, adoption, budget and taxes, school choice, sex education, gambling and more. According to its Web site, the North Carolina Family Policy Council used certified mail to send questionnaires to 580 candidates and received responses from some 413.
NCFPC President Bill Brooks said his organization had gone to great lengths to make sure that all candidates are treated equally and have the same opportunity to answer the questionnaire.
“I think the voter guides generally provide better information than is available from candidate ads or from the media. That is why we go to considerable effort and expense to provide this information,” he said.
The nonpartisan voter guide includes candidates for U.S. House as well as North Carolina governor, Lt. governor and Council of State seats in addition to N.C. Legislative offices and even the N.C. courts.
Brooks said the goal of the guide is to help bridge the disconnect between candidates and voters. He said as the election nears and rhetoric regarding the Marriage Protection Amendment escalates, voters will have to “work a little harder to educate themselves.”
“Just because polling shows support for the amendment, the opponent will be turning up the rhetoric in the days leading to the May 8 primary,” he said. “Their campaign is largely based on false claims but they know if they put them out there, many voters will not take the time to check them out.”
Dr. Creech joined Brooks in urging voters to check out information provided by the NCFPC, the Christian Action League and Vote FOR Marriage NC to understand the reasoning behind the need for the amendment and exactly how it will effect North Carolina.
“Once you have your questions answered about the Marriage Amendment and feel confident in your candidate choices, we do urge voters to take advantage of one-stop voting which began late last week at certain locations,” he said. “Even if you failed to register in time for the deadline, you can still go and register and vote and your vote will be counted once your registration is validated.”
Early voting ends May 5. To find out more, contact your local Board of Elections or go to the state Board of Elections web site at www.ncsbe.gov.
Clip Art courtesy of www.wpclipart.com