2020 Georgia Admendments

2020 Proposed Constitutional Amendments & Referenda On the 2020 General Election Ballot, voters will see ballot questions on proposed constitutional amendments and ballot referenda. Below, you’ll find each ballot question and a summary of the arguments.

Amendment 1: Authorizes dedication of fees and taxes to their intended purposes by general state law. “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize the General Assembly to dedicate revenues derived from fees or taxes to the public purpose for which such fees or taxes were intended?”

This question asks if you want to give the Georgia legislature authority to use tax revenue to just go to the public purpose for which the money was intended, instead of an all-purpose fund. Right now, the government can use money dedicated to one purpose, like cleaning up tire dumps and blight, and put it towards broader use. Environmental advocates support this bill because since 1990, while Georgia has raised millions of dollars to clean up specific waste, roughly 40% of those dollars have gone to other purposes. Critics of the amendment say it would remove flexibility for how the government can use money.

However, there are conditions for the amendment — dedicated funding could not exceed 1% of the total state revenues from the previous year, and in an emergency, the governor and General Assembly would have the ability to temporarily suspend dedicated funds.

Amendment 2: Waives state and local immunity for violations of state laws, state and federal resolutions. “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to waive sovereign immunity and allow the people of Georgia to petition the superior court for relief from governmental acts done outside the scope of lawful authority or which violate the laws of this state, the Constitution of Georgia, or the Constitution of the United States?”

This question asks whether Georgians should have the right to sue local and state governments as well as elected officials and public employees in their official capacities to challenge laws that may be unconstitutional. A 2017 ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court largely eliminated the ability of Georgians to challenge the constitutionality of laws without the government’s permission. A bill seeking to restore this ability to Georgians was vetoed by Governor Deal and Governor Kemp, who cited concerns regarding lawsuits from people in mental health facilities and lawsuits involving breach of contract against government employees and officials.

Statewide Referendum: Establishes a tax exemption for certain real property owned by charities. “Shall the Act be approved which provides an exemption from ad valorem taxes for all real property owned by a purely public charity, if such charity is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code and such real property is held exclusively for the purpose of building or repairing single-family homes to be financed by such charity to individuals using loans that shall not bear interest?”

This question asks if 501(c)(3) organizations should be exempt from property taxes on property that is in their inventory that is intended for building or repairing single family homes. For example, if this were to pass, Habitat for Humanity Georgia would be exempt from property tax on the vacant lots they own for future building purposes.

Track absentee ballot progress online

ATLANTA (CBS46) – With so much confusion being sown about voting by mail and absentee ballots, Georgia is using a system that will allow you to track exactly where your absentee ballot is at all times.Voters can use Ballottrax to get constant updates through email, text messaging, and other methods. The system is part of Georgia’s “Secure the Vote” campaign.To use the system, you’ll need to register through the system. In order to track the ballot, you must have a valid absentee ballot request on file with your county board of elections. If you haven’t done that, go to <https://ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov/ > to visit the online portal. Go to <https://georgia.ballottrax.net/voter/> to use Ballottrax to follow your absentee ballot.

Updated Voter Information

The Georgia Voter Information page on GilmerDems.org (gilmergadems.org) has been updated with current Democratic Candidates and helpful links for confirming your voting status, WEBSITES FOR GEORGIA VOTERS (at the end).

Identification Requirements: Georgia requires residents to show photo identification when voting in person.  For more information, please click here.

Elections and Voter Registration Calendar: For information, please click here.

Democratic Candidates: To see who is on upcoming ballets, please click here.

Georgia VoteSafe Program:  State law requires the public availability of voter lists including names and address of registered voters. In 2009, the Georgia Legislature enacted a bill known as the VoteSafe program to provide for the confidentiality of residence addresses of certain registered voters who have been, or may be, subject to acts of family violence or stalking or currently reside in a family violence shelter.  For more information, please click here.


Georgia Onward

Dear Friend,

Since launching Georgia Onward last week, we have been thrilled and humbled by your response. So many of you have stepped UP to raise the funds our state legislative candidates need to WIN and FLIP Georgia. 

OUR ASKPlease forward this email to at least 5 friends who want to support Georgia legislative democratic candidates in the quickest, most efficient way.

Georgia Onward SOLELY exists to fully fund the 20 Georgia Legislative Democratic candidates most likely to flip seats in November.

How it works: Georgia Onward will equally distribute your contribution to 20 candidates (for example, your $100 >> $5 per candidate). This is the most effective way to “bundle” for local candidates who may be off your radar, but key to Georgia’s future.

Your single contribution to Georgia Onward will have the greatest impact in flipping the Georgia state house in 2020!

Please help us hit our goal of $56,000 by NEXT MONDAY so we can get resources to local candidates who need them.

Remember: change starts at home.

Lindy Miller

2020 Democratic National Convention

CBS News, AUG 17 – How to watch the 2020 Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention will take place virtually August 17-20, with keynote speakers from 9-11 p.m. ET each night. Joe Biden will formally accept the nomination for president on Thursday night and Kamala Harris will accept the nomination for vice president on Wednesday.

The list of speakers includes Michelle Obama on Monday, Jill Biden on Tuesday and former President Obama on Wednesday.  Biden will accept the nomination virtually from his home state of Delaware, rather than traveling to Milwaukee.

CBSN will provide live coverage and analysis throughout the day all week, with full coverage beginning at 5 p.m. ET on “Red & Blue,” with Elaine Quijano. At 8:30 p.m. ET, tune in for an advance of each night’s convention speakers, and again at 11 p.m. ET for post-convention analysis.

From 10-11 p.m. ET each night, CBSN and CBS television stations will simulcast live coverage anchored by “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell. 

Coverage will include reporting from CBSN politics reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns, CBS News correspondents and campaign reporters, plus the latest on the state of the race from CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto. Reporters from around the country will provide perspectives as part of CBSN’s “Local Matters” series.

Download the free CBS News app for full CBSN coverage and live convention updates. CBSN streaming is available on all major platforms, including iOS, Android, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Samsung,and Pluto.

So how about Kamala Harris??? She will make us a great VP!

This is a “heads-up – a new logo for Gilmer Dems is in the works. Teresa Suarez and Leslie Wade are working on it and will have something for you to comment on in the near future. Watch for it!

We are happy to tell you that we will be hosting as many candidates as we can between now and November 11. Our guests this month, via Zoom, will be candidates in the “jungle” race for U.S. Senate, Richard Dien Winfield and Matt Lieberman.

If you got this as an e-mail, you will get another early on the day of the meeting, Thursday, August 20. It will include an invitation to join the meeting and will contain a link to the meeting. If you don’t have the Zoom ap, you can download it for free. After it is installed, all you have to do is click on the link in the invitation e-mail, and you will be taken to the meeting. If you don’t hear anyone right away, hang on and give the host a moment to admit you.

If you know someone who would like to join the meeting but is not on our e-mail list, ask them to follow the directions in the notice above to participate.

Also mark your calendar for our September 17 meeting. Our guests will be two more U.S. Senate candidates, Mr. Ed Tarver and Rev. Raphael Warnock.

See you Thursday!

P.S. Thanks to Shyla Brenan and Eunice Rosner, who served as poll watchers for the run-off on August 11.

New GCDC Officers

Congratulations to the newly elected officers of the Gilmer County Democratic Committee.

Co-chairs:  Noah May and Melba Gandy
Vice Chair:  Bob Zolten
Secretary:  Joanne Locascio
Treasurer:  Terry Woehr.

Thanks for your service!


An election event will happen with Gilmer Democrats on July 23, Thursday evening, at 6:00 p.m.

Brooke Sisken, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, has requested a Zoom meeting with us.  Brooke is in the Dem run-off, to be decided at the polls on August 11, against Devin Pandy.  

If you have not attended a Zoom meeting before, you may want to download and install the Zoom app before the meeting.  It is free.
Teresa Suarez will serve as co-host for the meeting.  She will admit you to the meeting and both of us will review the chats for questions for the candidate.  Please prepare to ask your questions on the written chat rather than speak them to avoid having more than one person at a time trying to speak. Teresa or I will read each question, in the order it is asked, to the candidate.

Melba Gandy will send an email to you tomorrow.  That email will contain a link to the meeting.  One click on the link will put you there.
Please join us and learn more about your candidate.   (Also check our website’s calendar.)

Additionally, please mark your calendar for Thursday, August 20.  Candidates for the U.S. Senate will Zoom with us at 6:00 p.m. on that date. 

REMINDER:  We need more poll watchers.  There is information about how to sign up on the Gilmer County Democrats Facebook group.