Citizens in Coweta weigh in on ballot questions
Republican and Democratic voters got a chance to express their opinions on a variety of topics on the May 20 primary ballot in Coweta County.
Republican primary voters weighed in on 11 ballot questions, with the Coweta County Republican Party submitting questions. The state Democratic Party submitted four ballot questions.
The ballot questions aren’t binding, but are a means to gather voter opinion.
"All the ballot questions passed … I think every question won in every precinct," said said Brant Frost V, chairman of the Coweta County Republican Party. Participation was high, with most of the Republican voters taking part in the primary also answering the questions, Frost said.
There were 8,658 votes cast in the Republican senate primary – 8,414 cast their opinions on the first Republican ballot question, and 8, 211 on the last ballot question.
As for the Democratic Party questions, “Ours is exactly what you would expect of the Democratic Party,” said state party spokesman Michael Smith before the primary. “We try to speak to the issues we’re hearing from our folks.”
"It was great, it was a pretty good survey," Frost said of the participation of local Republican voters. Even though the questions were only on ballots in Coweta, "Coweta primary voters are probably representative of most Republican primary voters in the metro [Atlanta] area," he said.
Frost said the Republican party will take a close look at the results and "see if there is something interesting."
Two years ago, both the state Republican and Democratic parties asked primary voters their thoughts on limiting the amount of money lobbyists can spend on legislators. The overwhelming support for those limits led to the passage of legislation the following year.
Roughly 90 percent of voters preferred the limits, and “that put (House Speaker David) Ralston and leadership in a position that they had to act on it,” said Frost noted prior to the primary.
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Results for the 11 questions on the Republican Party primary ballot:
1: Should Georgia adopt the Fair Tax? Coweta’s vote was 7,102 Yes; and 1,312 No.
2. Should the income tax be abolished in Georgia? 6,910 Yes; 1,560 No.
3. Should Georgia withdraw from Common Core? 6,323 Yes; 1,642 No.
4. Should the Coweta School Superintendent be elected by the people? 7,008 Yes; 1,555 No.
5. Should the State Board of Education be elected by the people? 7,530 Yes; 986 No.
6. Should property taxes be abolished in Georgia? 5,665 Yes; 2,779 No.
7. Should business owners have the right to refuse service on religious grounds? 5,623 Yes; 2,861 No.
8. Should Georgia call for a constitutional amendment convention? 4,893 Yes; 2,794 No.
9. Should marriage continue to be defined as a union between one man and one woman? 7,623 Yes; 963 No.
10. Should members of the legislature be term-limited? 8,021 Yes; 540 No.
11. Should unborn children be granted personhood under the Georgia Constitution? 5,657 Yes; 2,554 No.
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Results on the four questions on the Democratic Party ballot in Coweta:
1. Should Georgia raise the state minimum wage above the current $5.15 an hour? 1,706 Yes; 65 No.
2. Should Georgians’ federal tax dollars be returned to Georgia to fund Medicaid expansion and relieve the indigent-care burden on our hospitals? 1,519 Yes; 215, No.
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? 1,486 Yes; 219 No.
4. Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended to make the education budget Georgia’s first funding priority? 1,467 Yes; 252 No.