Ballot questions made an appearance on Tuesday’s primary ballots — four on the Democratic ballot, one on the Republican.
While registered voters overwhelmingly voted yes on both the Democratic and Republican questions, the approval is used by the parties to get a sense of what party voters think. The questions have no impact on state law, though down the road, the questions may find a way onto the legislative calendar in the form of bills.
The Newton County Republican party asked only one question: “Should Georgia empower parents with the right to use the tax dollars allocated for the education of their children, allowing them the freedom to choose among public, private, virtual, and home schools?” Voters agreed with the question, 4,253 votes, or 79.50 percent, versus 1,097 votes, or 20.50 percent.
Newton County Democratic voters said Georgia should invest less than 1 percent of its annual budget to provide healthcare to 500,000 low-income citizens and military veterans by expanding Medicaid. Support for the idea was at 89.20 percent, or 3,682 votes, as opposed to 446, or 10.80 percent ‘no’ votes.
Question 2 introduced the idea of guaranteed paid family leave, including pregnancy, serious illness, care of a family member with a serious health condition, or care for a newborn, newly-adopted child or newly-placed foster child. All but 253 voters approved of the idea, with 3,682 voting for paid family leave, or 93.88 percent.
Voters also think a buffer of natural vegetation should grow on private property on rivers and streams, ensuring Georgia’s waters can be used for swimming, drinking and fishing. Over 89 percent, 3,681 voters, said ‘yes,’ while 427, or 10.39 percent, said ‘no.’
The final question asked if legal and permanent residences should be automatically registered to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or state-issued ID. An opt-out provision would be included. Again, over 83 percent of the voters, or 3,433, approved of the idea, while 662 or 16.17 percent said, ‘no.’