Come Nov. 6, Georgia voters will have the opportunity to decide on five new amendments to the state constitution proposed by the Legislature in the August. These new measures, listed on the 2018 general election ballot, give residents the opportunity to decide on such issues as victims’ rights, tax money for green space and the establishment of a statewide business court.

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2018 Gubernatorial Candidates

staceyAbrams

Stacey Abrams

Democrat

Abrams is the former state House Minority Leader, and was first elected to the House from an Atlanta district in 2006. Prior to that, she was a deputy Atlanta City attorney.
kemp2

Brian Kemp

Republican

Kemp’s been Georgia’s Secretary of State for the past eight years. Prior to that he served four years in the state Senate representing district in the Athens area.

Ted Metz

Ted Metz

Libertarian

Libertarian Ted Metz worked as a research scientist for a consumer products corporation, according to his website. He’s also worked in finance and insurance.

Ballot Map

 The map will show you the candidates in the state and federal races in November’s election by location. Start with an address or click around the different counties, districts and more to see who’s running.

2018 Ballot Measures

Come Nov. 6, Georgia voters will have the opportunity to decide on five new amendments to the state constitution proposed by the Legislature in the August. These new measures, listed on the 2018 general election ballot, give residents the opportunity to decide on such issues as victims’ rights, tax money for green space and the establishment of a statewide business court. Read on as we break down each proposed amendment below:

Marsy’s Law Crime Victim Rights Amendment

Named after Marsalee (Marsy) Nicholas, Senate Resolution 146 would amend the state constitution to provide victims of crime with such rights as fair and respectful treatment, information about the rights and services afforded to them, notice of all proceedings involving the alleged perpetrator of the crime, including sentencing and release, and permission to be heard at the hearings of the accused.

While Georgia does have a current Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights, it grants crime victims only statutory rights. Marsy’s Law would enshrine these rights in the Georgia Constitution.

Forest Land Conservation and Timberland Properties Amendment

Voting yes for House Resolution 51 would allow the state to update the formula it uses to determine the tax amount and market value of forest land to ensure more accurate payments to counties.

It would establish a new land class called Qualified Timber Property that would give landowners the chance to have their property assessed at fair market value by the Department of Revenue. This legislation would also reduce the covenant length and property size required for enrollment in the Forest Land Protection Act, and would allow the state to keep 5 percent of forest land conservation grants.

Georgia School Sales Tax Referendums Amendment

A yes vote would grant permission to school districts within a county to call for a referendum of a 1 percent sales and use tax. Proceeds from the tax would be distributed for educational purposes within the school district, and last five years. Distributions of funds from the sales tax would be based on student enrollment within the county.

Revenue from Outdoor Recreation Equipment Sales Tax Dedicated to Land Conservation Fund Amendment

House Resolution 238 is being called the green space amendment or the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment and gives voters the opportunity to decide whether or not the state should establish a trust funded by up to 80 percent of sales revenue and use taxes on outdoor recreation equipment. Money from the trust fund would help protect Georgia’s green spaces, including parks, forests and waterways.

As a result of the new legislation, $20 million would be generated by the state—money that would be allocated over a period of 10 years.

Georgia State Business Court Amendment

Passage of House Resolution 993 would establish a statewide business court, and within that court, rules and processes for jury selection, term lengths for presiding officials and qualifications for a judge that would be appointed by the governor, approved by the Legislature and serve five-year terms. The business court would have statewide jurisdiction under specific circumstances.

Proponents of the amendment believe its passage would increase court efficacy, lower costs and help encourage predictability of outcomes in business disputes.

WABE Election Coverage

 Atlanta’s NPR station brings you regular coverage of Georgia’s general election leading up to Nov. 6.