July 31 Democratic ballot questions
1. Should the Georgia Constitution be amended to allow the state to override locally-elected school boards' decisions when it comes to the creation of charter schools in your county or city?
2. Do you support ending the current practice permitting unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators?
3. Should Georgia adopt an income tax credit for home energy costs to support the economic security of our families?
4. Should Georgia reduce sales taxes on Made in Georgia products so as to support the growth of small businesses in our state?
July 31 Republican ballot questions
1. Should Georgia have casino gambling with funds going to education?
2. Do you support ending the current practice of unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators by imposing a $100 cap on such gifts?
3. Should active duty-military personnel who are under the age of 21 be allowed to obtain a Georgia weapons license?
4. Should citizens who wish to vote in a primary election be required to register by their political party affiliation at least 30 days prior to such primary election?
5. Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each innocent human being from his or her earliest biological beginning without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency?
Republican and Democratic voters in Georgia will have several nonbinding straw poll questions to answer on the July 31 primary ballot.
The questions are the same around the state, though Republicans and Democrats in Dade County will have one additional local straw-poll question to answer: "Shall the Dade County Commission dedicate a fixed portion of county property taxes to the funding of the Dade County Library?"
Lecia Eubanks sought to have the library straw poll on the ballot. Eubanks is director of the Cherokee Regional Library, which has one branch in Trenton and three branches in Walker County.
The library system has to ask for money each year from several branches of local government, and Eubanks would like to have a more stable source of funding.
Georgia's Democratic voters are being asked four questions: Whether the state should be able to override local school boards' decisions to create charter schools, whether to limit gifts lobbyists can provide legislators, if there should be a tax credit for home energy costs and whether sales taxes should be reduced on made-in-Georgia products.
The state Republican party is posing five questions: Should Georgia allow casino gambling to fund education, should lobbyist gifts' to legislators be capped at $100, should under-21 members of the military be allowed to have a weapons license, whether to make voters register with a political party to vote in a primary election, and should the state constitution be amended to outlaw abortion.
Leaders in both parties say they choose the questions to get a sense of where voters stand. Nonpartisan ballots don't have any straw poll questions.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.