There’s good news to report: “Early voting off to an aggressive pace” (News and Observer)–

“The first week of one-stop voting has even surpassed the first week in the presidential primary election of 2008 between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which drew 102,815 votes. As of noon Friday, 114,243 one-stop votes had been cast. Including mail-in ballots, 121,545 people have voted since the 17-day one-stop period began April 19.”

And there are significant grassroots efforts to get “against” voters to the polls. One example: with funding provided by the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, North Carolina State University will have a shuttle to the Board of Elections Office on Harrington Street during the early voting period for the upcoming May 8th elections! Students can catch the shuttle from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day between Monday April 30th and Friday May 4th in front of Reynolds Coliseum.

And at Talking Points Memo, a recognition that all of the momentum is in our direction: “Are Opponents To NC’s Marriage Amendment On The Verge Of An Epic Comeback?”

Over the last month, there have been indications that the tide is turning — typified by both a groundswell of opposition toward the amendment and a confluence of events that have stymied its support.

…“The against side has an advantage in terms of tv air time and grassroots momentum and for the first time this week I really believe there’s a chance the amendment could fail,” Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling (PPP), told TPM in an email. “I never would have thought that until now.”

He added: “I think opponents of the amendment should be very encouraged and if they do every little thing they can in the final days to make sure voters are informed the potential for a seismic upset is there.”

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Take a look at this lunacy:

LeisterCarpet.com’s pro-Amendment One ad: ‘Marriage, the way God intended it to be’

A reader alerted me that a Western NC flooring retailer (leicestercarpet.com in Asheville/Henderson) is sponsoring an incredible pro-Amendment One advertisement that continues the National Organization for Marriage/Vote for Marriage NC pathetic tactic of conflating church and state. At this point it’s laughable. Please “join in one flesh” and watch.

How about the down-home dude at the end saying “God Bless America!”? That’s the carpet store owner.

Do any of these people realize that they are not married (or divorced for that matter) in the eyes of the law until they obtain a marriage license issued by the state? That all of those benefits they receive as a result of tying the knot come not from some gay-hating pastor trying to “preserve” marriage, but as a result of that piece of paper recognizing their union?

Oh, that’s right — facts, what do they matter when you can spew nonsense like marriage as “God intended”? Even though the bible sanctioned having 700 wives, owning human beings, etc. These people can believe whatever they want to believe, but droning on about this ignorant BS again shows they are only about getting the base out to the polls at this point, not converting anyone on the fence.  Below is a version with two ads, one a little more polished than the other — but notice the tagline now includes the official Vote for Marriage NC logo.

This religion-based bigotry is being countered here with a groundbreaking level of support by faith communities and the North Carolina NAACP. The latter launched a radio campaign against Amendment One this week and black pastors in Greensboro took a very public stand against the ballot initiative as well: