On Monday morning, voters in North Carolina began receiving robocalls on both sides of the state's proposed Amendment One. The amendment seeks to amend the Constitution to state "that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."
This is not intended to make same-sex marriages illegal in North Carolina. The state already passed such legislation in 1996, with a Defense of Marriage statute stating the government's position clearly: "Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of North Carolina, between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina."
The amendment is designed to prevent circumvention of the existing statute by denying recognition of domestic partnerships. It allows only for private parties to enter into contracts enforceable against each other, providing a method for same-sex couples to decide end-of-life issues, property inheritance, and custody issues without the need for state recognition of their union.
Much like the defunding of Planned Parenthood in Arizona on Friday, this amendment seeks to take a victory already won, and make sure your opponent can not rise to fight again.
But unlike Arizona, which saw little opinion from political heavyweights prior to passing the legislation, the big guns have been directly and indirectly aimed at the Tar Heel State.
On Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden, while not specifically referencing North Carolina stated, "I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties."
The VP is a loud voice, but few come louder from the left than President Bill Clinton or from the right than Reverend Billy Graham. Those two will be the voices voters hear on Monday's and Tuesday's robocalls.
They both make strong and concise pitches to their bases.
Clinton admonishes, "The real effect of the law is not to keep the traditional definition of marriage, you've already done that. The real effect of the law will be to hurt families and drive away jobs. North Carolina can do better."
Graham advises, "The Bible is clear -- God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8. God bless you as you vote."
The map of states which have passed laws or constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex unions looks suspiciously like the map showing which states are likely to go for Obama or Romney in November.
The legislatures in these states know these amendments are redundant. They understand some might fail to pass muster with the Supreme Court. But they motivate the base on Election Day, and highlight distinctions between the parties.
Democrats hold a nearly 800,000-voter registration edge in North Carolina, so this vote may be seen as a bellwether on voter motivation for November in key swing states.