Georgia Democratic Primary Advisory Questions (May 2014)
- Increasing the statewide hourly minimum wage above the current $5.15.
- Receiving federal money to fund the expansion of Medicaid, as provided for by the Affordable Care Act.
- Creating an independent ethics commission distinct from executive and legislative offices.
- Mandating that the education budget is the state's first budgeting priority.
The measures, while statewide, were party specific and only appeared on the ballot for those who chose to vote on a Democratic Party ballot on primary election day.
According to Michael Smith, the Communications Director for the Georgia Democratic Party, the party executives did not consult with candidates, but with legislative leaders. He did note, however, that the party hoped that the questions reflected key issues in the 2014 statewide elections. Matt Towery, CEO of Insider Advantage Inc., a website providing government information to businesses and media, said that the point of the questions were to "generate [voter] turnout." He continued:
|“||Some of the questions dovetail with the candidacies of [U.S. Senate hopeful] Michelle Nunn and [gubernatorial candidate] Jason Carter. … The second thing it’s designed to do is to generate an interest in the primary [among Democrats]. Michelle Nunn faces nominal opposition in the primary and Carter is unopposed. … It’s all issues to get the Democrats’ base out in November... It is also for people who may be on the fence and may lean toward Democrats based on these questions. It’s really more about turnout than making an impact. And the Democrats are not in control of the [Georgia] House, Senate or the governor’s office. It’s designed to turn out various groups, to get them to go to the polls."||”|
—Matt Towery, CEO of Insider Advantage Inc. 
Below are the election results with 159 out of 159 counties reporting:
Below are the unofficial election results for Question 2:
Below are the unofficial election results for Question 3:
Below are the unofficial election results for Question 4:
- These results are from the Georgia Secretary of State.
Text of the measure
There were four advisory questions on the Democratic Party primary ballot in 2014.
|“||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?||”|
Georgia has an open primary system for party candidate nominations for elections. This means that any registered voter, no matter what their party affiliation, can vote in any party's primary. However, a voter can only vote in one party's primary. On May 20, 2014, Georgians selected a primary ballot at their voting places, either a Republican ballot or a Democratic ballot. Those who selected a Democratic ballot voted on the advisory questions, while those who selected a Republican ballot did not.
Path to the ballot
The Democratic Party of Georgia submitted the non-binding advisory questions to the Georgia Secretary of State during the candidate qualifying period, which was from March 3 to March 7, 2014. The Georgia Republican Party did not submit any primary ballot advisory questions. According to Michael Smith, the Communications Director for the Georgia Democratic Party, the party executives did not consult with candidates, but with legislative leaders. He did note, however, that the party hoped that the questions reflected key issues in the 2014 statewide elections.
- Atlanta Business Chronicle, "Democratic primary ballot to feature non-binding questions," April 8, 2014
- The Augusta Chronicle, "Georgia Democrats includes questions on primary ballot," April 8, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Neighbor Newspapers, "Democratic ballot includes four nonbinding questions," May 12, 2014
State of Georgia
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | State Superintendent of Schools | Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Service Commission |