Georgia Democratic Primary Advisory Questions (May 2014)

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Democratic Primary Advisory Questions
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Type:Advisory questions
Referred by:Democratic Party of Georgia
Topic:Elections and campaigns on the ballot
Status:Approved Approveda
2014 measures
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May 20
Democratic Primary AQs Approveda
November 4
Amendment A Approveda
Amendment B Approveda
Referendum 1 Approveda
Endorsements
Polls
Four Georgia Democratic Primary Advisory Questions were on the May 20, 2014 Democratic Party primary ballot in Georgia as advisory questions. All four were approved. The measures asked Democratic Party primary voters about how they view four statewide political issues:[1]
  1. Increasing the statewide hourly minimum wage above the current $5.15.
  2. Receiving federal money to fund the expansion of Medicaid, as provided for by the Affordable Care Act.
  3. Creating an independent ethics commission distinct from executive and legislative offices.
  4. 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.[1] 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."

[2]

—Matt Towery, CEO of Insider Advantage Inc., [3]

Election results

Below are the election results with 159 out of 159 counties reporting:

Below are the unofficial election results for Question 1:
Question 1
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 328,142 94.73%
No18,2405.27%

Below are the unofficial election results for Question 2:

Question 2
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 297,691 87.93%
No40,85912.07%

Below are the unofficial election results for Question 3:

Question 3
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 278,694 84.60%
No50,72115.40%

Below are the unofficial election results for Question 4:

Question 4
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 285,256 85.52%
No48,28314.48%
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.

Question 1

Question 1 was related to the minimum wage. The official ballot text for the question read as follows:[1]

1. Should Georgia raise the state minimum wage above the current $5.15 an hour?

[2]

Question 2

Question 2 was related to healthcare. The official ballot text for the question read as follows:[1]

2. Should Georgians’ federal tax dollars be returned to Georgia to fund Medicaid expansion and relieve the indigent-care burden on our hospitals?

[2]

Question 3

Question 3 was related to administration of government and government accountability. The official ballot text for the question read as follows:[1]

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?

[2]

Question 4

Question 4 was related to education and government budgets. The official ballot text for the question read as follows:[1]

4. Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended to make the education budget Georgia’s first funding priority?

[2]

Open primary

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

See also: Laws governing ballot measures in Georgia
Georgia Democratic Party logo.jpg

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.[1]

See also

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Additional reading

References