May 20 ballots to include Democrats' questions

GOP to have no straw poll

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 8:57 PM
Last updated 9:07 PM
  • Follow Elections

Voters choosing a Democratic ballot May 20 will also get to weigh in on a handful of issues.

Monday, the Secretary of State’s Office released the list of non-binding questions that will appear on all Democratic ballots. The Democratic Party of Georgia submitted them during last month’s candidate qualifying period, according to Jared Thomas, the agency’s spokesman.

Questions asked two years ago wound up playing a role in changing state law, when both parties came up with separate versions of a question about whether lobbyists’ gifts to legislators should be limited.

Legislative leaders had pooh-poohed the idea of a gift cap before the primary, calling it a gimmick that would lead to untraceable abuses. But after ballots in both primaries showed an overwhelming majority of Republicans and Democrats favored the gift cap, lawmakers enacted one in the next legislative session.

This year, Republicans submitted no questions for the ballot, while Democrats included questions about raising the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid, funding education and the independence of the state ethics commission.

“Ours is exactly what you would expect of the Democratic Party,” said Democratic spokesman Michael Smith. “We try to speak to the issues we’re hearing from our folks.”

Richmond County Democrats added three more questions – on gun control, medical marijuana and again, expanding Medicaid – bringing the ballot’s total to seven in Augusta-Richmond County.

On all Richmond County ballots, voters in the consolidated government will choose a mayor and five district commissioners and whether to renew a 1 percent sales tax and issue general obligation bonds May 20.

Augusta Democratic voters will select a state senator from District 22, where there are no Republican candidates.

The statewide topics are also what the party hopes will be key issues in this year’s campaign. Nationally, the party is focusing on the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid. And party leaders of the state House and Senate have been hammering away on ethics and education funding since the start of the legislative session. Smith said the legislative leaders offered input on the wording but not the candidates.

“There wasn’t really any direct coordination with any of the campaign,” he said.

Staff Writer Susan McCord contributed to this report.

QUIZ YOURSELF

ARE YOU A CITIZEN?

1. If the president and vice president can no longer serve, who becomes president?

CURRENT EVENTS

2. What was the name of the shooter in Thursday’s rampage at Fort Hood?

U.S. HISTORY

3. The 19th Amendment to extend voting rights to women was adopted in what year?

Answers: 1. Speaker of the House; 2. Ivan Lopez ; 3. 1919

Ballot questions

Here are the questions that will appear on Democratic ballots. Voters can choose which primary they want to participate in, or can request a non-partisan ballot just to vote in nonpartisan races.

1. Should Georgia raise the state minimum wage above the current $5.15 an hour?

2. Should Georgians’ federal tax dollars be returned to Georgia to fund Medicaid expansion and relieve the indigent-care burden on our hospitals?

3. Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended to create an independent ethics commission, not tied to the governor’s office, legislature or other elected office, to more effectively police potential ethics violations by elected officials?

4. Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended to make the education budget Georgia’s first funding priority?

Here are the questions that will appear on Richmond County Democratic ballots:

1. Should individuals in Georgia be allowed to bring guns into churches, college campuses, some parts of airports and on private property?

2. Should the governor/legislature extend Medicaid to those whose income allows it?

3. Should the use of marijuana be legalized in Georgia for medicinal purposes only?

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Little Lamb
49247
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Little Lamb 04/10/14 - 07:27 am
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Question #1 — Deja Vu

Answer: No.

Time and time again the evidence shows that raising the minimum wage destroys many of the very minimum wage jobs they were trying to help.

Also, raising the minimum wage sets in motion a wage/price inflation spiral. Inflation is the cruelest tax, inflicting its harm most on low-income people and elderly who live on their savings.

Also, raising the minimum wage sets in motion an exponential increase in other wage rates that are linked to the minimum wage.

Little Lamb
49247
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Little Lamb 04/10/14 - 07:30 am
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Question #2 — Deja Vu

Answer: No.

This sneakily-worded question shows the sliminess of the political class. When the uninformed voter sees "return federal tax dollars to Georgia," he immediately thinks, "yes." But the devil is in the details, and an expansion of Medicaid is yet another expansion of big government. We need government to get smaller, not bigger.

Also sneaky is the qualifier about "relieving the burden of indigent care on our hospitals." The burden is there, no matter who pays for it. I vote for everyone paying his own bills and no one else's bill unless they voluntarily pay someone else's bill. What's so hard about that?

Little Lamb
49247
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Little Lamb 04/10/14 - 07:31 am
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Question #3 — Deja Vu

Answer: No.

In government (actually, in all of life) , there is really nothing that can be considered "independent." We all have to interact with something.

How can they create a commission not "tied" to the governor? The governor has veto power over the legislation. If the governor does not appoint the people on the commission, someone else will have to. Then that someone else becomes a quasi-governor, subject to the same corruptive influences that the governor is subject to.

How can they create a commission not "tied" to the legislature. It is the legislature that sets the budget for the commission each and every year.

#3 is one stupid question.

Little Lamb
49247
Points
Little Lamb 04/10/14 - 07:32 am
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Question #4 — Deja Vu

Answer: No.

Another "I feel good" question with no meaning. There are no "first priorities" in funding government. (Well, actually we see that funding legislators’ salaries is the first priority – self-preservation is powerful.) The legislature has to juggle funding requests from each agency each and every year. No one (except legislators’ salaries) is sacrosanct. No one is independent.

The educrats have never been satisfied with federal funding levels, state funding levels, or local funding levels. They never will be. A meaningless constitutional amendment such as question #4 will not be able to change this fundamental truth. The people behind such an amendment are not interested in education. Instead, they are interested in their own wealth, their own power, their own influence over others. And they are interested in growing the scope of government and in shrinking personal freedom.

dsterling9
1255
Points
dsterling9 04/10/14 - 07:33 am
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BALLOT QUESTIONS

This is just wrong, wrong, wrong. These questions should be available to ALL voters. I have long believed one should not have to declare a specific party prior to voting but be allowed to choose from all qualified candidates and should there be other items those should be available to all.

A lot of people will say the minimum wage needs to be raised; however, doing so will hurt everyone from the minimum wage work to the person purchasing the service or product. Of course there will be higher taxes for the worker and the consumer.

dsterling9
1255
Points
dsterling9 04/10/14 - 08:05 am
0
0
BALLOT QUESTIONS

This is just wrong, wrong, wrong. These questions should be available to ALL voters. I have long believed one should not have to declare a specific party prior to voting but be allowed to choose from all qualified candidates and should there be other items those should be available to all.

A lot of people will say the minimum wage needs to be raised; however, doing so will hurt everyone from the minimum wage work to the person purchasing the service or product. Of course there will be higher taxes for the worker and the consumer.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 04/10/14 - 08:01 pm
0
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It also makes you wonder why ...
Unpublished

someone would criticize another party that solicits the opinion of the electorate on certain issues.

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