ERA-NC Alliance releases 2020 Candidates Survey, urges voters to “Vote Equality”
Raleigh — The ERA-NC Alliance is commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage on Wednesday, Aug. 26, with the release of its biennial North Carolina Candidates Survey, a comprehensive look at candidates for the North Carolina General Assembly, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and their support — or lack of support — of the Equal Rights Amendment.
The full results of the survey are available at ERA-NC.org. The Alliance encourages voters to use the Candidates Survey to determine their candidate’s stance and to ensure they “Vote Equality” for women in November.
In September, the ERA-NC Alliance will blanket the state with its “Vote Equality” campaign, using yard signs, car magnets and mailings to stress the urgent need for voters to recognize the importance of the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA-NC Alliance will also partner with the VoteEquality.us national campaign, which will crisscross North Carolina with a van tour, visiting cities and college campuses statewide.
The survey asked candidates across the political spectrum if they support the Equal Rights Amendment and gave them an opportunity to explain their stance. Many candidates called the ERA “long overdue.” Others remain opposed or have, so far, failed to respond.
The Equal Rights Amendment is nonpartisan and enjoys support from Republican candidates, as well as Democrats.
“We need this guarantee in the Constitution,” said Sammy Davis Webb, a Republican running for state Senate. Fellow Republican Rick Padgett echoed his support. “Equal access and due process. I have worked for some great women. I worked domestic violence cases in law enforcement.”
The ERA, a version of which has been introduced in Congress every year since 1923, passed the U.S. House and Senate in 1972 and was sent to the states for ratification. Congress set March 22, 1979, as the original time limit for ratification. Congress later extended that time limit to 1982. By 1982, 35 of the necessary 38 states had ratified. Since 2017, three more states, Nevada, Illinois and Virginia, have ratified, which means the ERA has now met its ratification requirements.
The National Archivist, David Ferriero, refused to certify Virginia’s January 2020 ratification and refused to publish the ERA as the 28th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Virginia, Illinois and Nevada have filed suit against Ferriero. The ERA-NC Alliance, along with many women’s organizations, multiple major corporations and Constitutional legal scholars, has filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs. Numerous state attorneys general, including North Carolina’s Josh Stein, also support the plaintiffs.
In February, the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly to eliminate the 1982 time limit. A sister bill, Senate Joint Resolution 6, currently sits in the Senate Judiciary Committee awaiting a hearing.
The Alliance expects ratification bills to be filed in both houses of the General Assembly in the 2021 session.
“I have been working to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and expand women’s rights since I was in college,” said Deborah K. Ross, Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 2. “I would absolutely support extending the deadline.” Fellow Democrat David Wilson Brown, running for U.S. House District 5, characterized the ERA as “grossly overdue.”
Libertarian candidates, too, support the ERA. “The rights of all Americans must be enshrined in the Constitution,” said Zach Berly, a candidate for N.C. House. “Without the ERA, women are vulnerable to legal discrimination. N.C.’s abysmal record of equal and civil rights voting has to change.”
“What’s to debate?” said Sam Edney, a Democratic candidate for the N.C. House. “The fact that it is lawful to discriminate between men and women in North Carolina is abhorrent and inexcusable.”
Contact: Teri Walley, [email protected], (704) 560-1105
The ERA-NC Alliance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a sole mission:
To ratify the ERA in North Carolina and to make the ERA the 28th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.