North Carolina one step closer to voting on sheriff question

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July 1, 2010

RALEIGH, North Carolina: North Carolina voters have one more hurdle ahead of them if they are to vote on a measure dealing with sheriffs in the state. The measure, if sent to the ballot, will allow voters to decide whether to alter the state constitution to prohibit convicted felons from running for sheriff in the state. The measure was introduced by Senator Stan Bingham during the week of May 17, 2010, in light of the Davidson County sheriff race where candidate Gerald Hege is a convicted felon. Hege was running for the position five years after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice charges. His bid for the position failed.

The measure was approved by the North Carolina Senate on June 23, 2010 by a vote of 46-1. The measure was then sent to the North Carolina House of Representatives, where the chamber unanimously approved of the bill. The last step to ensure ballot access for the measure is for the House to approve of the ballot language. Section 4 of Article XIII of the North Carolina Constitution says that a legislatively-referred amendment can go on the ballot if approved by a 60% vote of each house of the North Carolina State Legislature.[1]

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