At a glance
Should Georgia have casino gambling with funds going to education?
• County — 54.2 percent support
• State — 50.2 percent support
Do you support ending the current practice of unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators by imposing a $100 cap on such gifts?
• County — 89.5 percent support
• State — 87.2 percent support
Should active duty military personnel who are under the age of 21 be allowed to obtain a Georgia weapons license?
• County — 70.2 percent support
• State — 68.8 percent support
Should citizens who wish to vote in a primary election be required to register by their political party affiliation at least thirty (30) days prior to such primary election?
• County — 51.2 percent against
• State — 53.4 percent against
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?
• County — 61.6 percent support
• State — 65.7 percent support
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?
• County — 57.1 percent against
• State — 56.3 percent against
Do you support ending current practice permitting unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators?
• County — 84 percent support
• State — 72.4 percent support
Should Georgia adopt an income tax credit for home energy costs to support the economic security of our families?
• County — 82.2 percent support
• State — 79.6 percent support
Should Georgia reduce sales taxes on “Made in Georgia” products so as to support the growth of small businesses in our state?
• County — 84.1 percent support
• State — 87.1 percent support
Source: Secretary of State’s Office
Voters from both the Democratic and Republican parties have spoken.
In Tuesday’s primary, nine questions — five on the Republican ballot and four Democratic ballot — asked voters to choose yes or no to several hot button issues, including lobbyists, casinos and guns.
The questions are nonbinding, meaning they’re not tied to any laws. But the hope of each party is voter response will stir legislators to action.
“I can only hope that they will start paying attention to us,” said Sharon Gunter, chairwoman of the Forsyth County Democratic Party.
In Forsyth, fewer than 2,000 Democratic voters responded to the party’s four questions. Of those, more than 82 percent supported three of the four issues: an end to unlimited gifts from lobbyists to legislators; an income tax credit for home energy costs and a reduction in sales tax for products made in Georgia.
At least 26,900 Republican voters in Forsyth responded to at least one of their party’s questions, which also included ending unlimited lobbyist contributions.
However the Republican question proposed capping gifts at $100. Nearly 90 percent of the county’s voters supported it.
“It looks like the whole community stands together,” Gunter said. “We do not want lobbyists to control our legislators. We want their allegiance to the citizens of this county and the state.
“When it comes down to issues, it’s not red and blue [of the political parties], it’s black and white — what’s good for our citizens.”
But Forsyth County Republican Party Chairman Ethan Underwood said it’s going to be a fine line if legislators plan to respond to lobbyist limits.
“When you create ethics laws like that, it has the potential to be a bureaucratic nightmare,” he said. “You want a law that makes sure elected officials are acting in an ethical way, but also doesn’t create a system where it’s used more as a political gotcha.”
About 70 percent of the county’s Republican voters also agree military personnel who are younger than 21 should be allowed to obtain a state weapons license.
Nearly 62 percent support a constitutional change saying 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.”
Underwood said it’s a “debate even within the Republican Party.” While a majority of people support the right-to-life issue, “everyone doesn’t march in lock step.”
The Democratic ballot question asking if the state should be allowed to override “locally-elected school boards’ decisions when it comes to the creation of charter schools” had the most split response. About 62 percent favored it, which Gunter said would the next step easy to figure.
“It did tell me one thing,” she said. “The way that the votes came in so equally it is obvious that people don’t understand the implications of the amendment that’s going to be on the November ballot. They need to know the facts.”
Gunter said an educational town hall meeting on charter schools will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 9 in the county commission’s meeting room.
Back on the Republican side, about 51 percent of voters were against requiring voters to register by political party prior to a primary election. Underwood said the practice could prevent crossover voting.
“If folks want to be Democrats … giving them a seat at the table for the Republican Party I think can have a negative effect,” he said.