Richmond County party questions seek voter interest in many topics

In addition to statewide questions on the primary ballots, Richmond County voters also will see a few questions from the local party organizations.

Most of the local questions are on the Republican ballot.

Republican Party Chair­man Bob Finnegan emphasized that the questions are nonbinding and are meant to help political leaders gauge public interest in certain issues.

“It’s like a poll,” Finnegan said. “We are just looking for information.”

The Republican Party questions seek voter opinions on wide array of topics, from limiting school board terms to paying to move residents of the blighted Hyde Park neighborhood, and even betting on horse racing.

Finnegan said the racing question grew out of a statewide question on legalizing casino gambling.

Another issue that both parties seem interested in is partisan elections in local races. The Republicans want to know how voters feel about making several county offices nonpartisan contests, meaning the candidates would not have to qualify with either party in order to run.

The lone local Democratic question, however, asks voters whether elections for some city offices should be partisan contests, meaning the candidates would have to declare a party in order to run.

Whatever the results, Finnegan said, the questions might or might not be used to introduce new local legislation. He said voters should not be under the impression they are voting for a new law.

“They are not binding in any way,” he said.

Democrats hope questions will spur policy debates

LOCAL PARTY QUESTIONS

DEMOCRAT

• Currently, the candidates for mayor and commissioners qualify as non-partisan. Would you like the law changed so that they qualify as partisan (Democrat or Republican)?

REPUBLICAN

• Should the Richmond County School Board members be limited to serve only 2 four year terms?

• Should the sheriff, solicitor general, coroner, clerk of superior court, probate judge, tax commissioner, and civil court judges elections be non-partisan?

• Should the Augusta-Richmond County Commission pass an ordinance banning smoking in public places?

• Should the state of Georgia pass legislation to allow for gambling on horse racing in Georgia?

• Should the Augusta-Richmond County Commission pay for the moving of families out of Hyde Park subdivision?

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