Amendment One: Pass or Fail, Here's What Happens

5:06 PM, May 7, 2012   |    comments
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We're into the final hours before Election Day arrives in North Carolina. Amendment One has sparked a passionate debate. This is, of course, the constitutional amendment some call the "Marriage Amendment."

If you vote "for" the amendment, you are in favor of changing the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. A vote "against" the amendment means you do not want a constitutional definition on marriage.

The last major primary election we had was in 2008. that was in a presidential election year. We usually see a pretty big bump in voter turnout when the White House is on the line. Back in 2008, nearly half a million North Carolinians voted early (494,327 people to be exact). This year, which is also a presidential election year, more than half a million people have voted early (507,655 people).

News 2 political analyst Martin Kifer says part of the reason for larger turnout could be that we are shifting politically. When we're seeing these kinds of early voting numbers in a primary, the Guilford County Board of Elections tells News 2 that's usually a sign of what turnout will look like Tuesday.

People have argued, debated and campaigned for or against Amendment One for months.

If Amendment One passes, it would take effect as soon the State Board of Elections certifies the results. The board will set that date later this month. If it fails, there could be another vote on it down the road. The general assembly could pass legislation calling for another vote whenever it chooses.

If the amendment passes, a judge could potentially declare it unconstitutional, but the State Board of Elections' legal team tells News 2 that's highly unlikely given the situation.

If it fails, a judge could, in theory, issue a ruling that would legalize gay marriage. That has happened in other states. Regardless of what North Carolina decides Tuesday, this is not the end of this debate and it will likely not be the last time you're asked to vote on this issue.

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