In the statewide vote, Amendment One passed easily with 61% of the vote. However, Orange County overwhelmingly rejected the amendment by a vote of 79% to 21%. (Our neighbors in Durham County likewise voted 70% to 30% against the amendment.) Some precincts in Carrboro and Chapel Hill voted against the amendment almost unanimously. The map below shows the Orange County precinct-level results of the referendum. The results are presented as the ratio of votes against the amendment to votes for the amendment.
The map is based on unofficial results from the Orange County Board of Elections. Important disclaimer: Because of the large number of early votes, the map is inaccurate to the extent that early voters made different choices than people who voted on Election Day. In the Amendment One referendum, early voters constituted more than 36% of the electorate, and more than 87% of them voted against the referendum. It is likely that some precincts were disproportionately represented in the early vote. (See, for example, the precinct-level early-voter turnout in the 2009 Chapel Hill municipal election.) We won't know for sure until the early votes are apportioned to their precincts.
Thirty-eight of the county's 44 precincts went against the amendment. Most notably, almost 95% of voters in the Town Hall precinct in Carrboro and the East Franklin precinct in Chapel Hill voted against on Election Day. Majorities in 7 precincts supported the amendment, including nearly 60% of voters in the Caldwell and Tolars precincts in northeastern Orange County.
The immediate fate of domestic partner benefits for public employees in Orange County is now in the hands of the county commissioners, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, and the Chapel Hill Town Council. All 3 of these bodies adopted resolutions against Amendment One, and all 3 offer benefits to same-sex partners of government employees. (Carrboro was the first municipality in North Carolina to offer these benefits.)
The News & Observer reported today that Orange County has stated the amendment will have no immediate impact on the county's domestic partner benefits. Commissioner-elect Mark Dorosin, who led the race for county commissioner in district 1 yesterday, campaigned in part on a pledge to resist any change in the county's policies should Amendment One pass.
Ratio of Votes Against to Votes For the Amendment