Midterm Elections: Breakdown of Georgia, South Carolina ballot questions

Thursday, October 25, 2018


(WRDW/WAGT) -- Midterm elections are coming up and whether you're voting in Georgia or South Carolina there are some questions that you'll see on your ballot that can be confusing.

Georgia Constitutional Amendments:

Amendment 2: "Creates a state-wide business court to lower costs, enhance efficiency, and promote predictable judicial outcomes."

We broke it down for you:
-It would create what's called a state-wide business court, removing certain cases from State and Superior Court dockets to help speed them along.
-It allows the Governor to select judges for this court.
-Those judges can be reappointed for any number of terms.

Amendment 4: "Provides rights for victims of crimes in the judicial process."

It's also known as Marcy's Law. This new amendment will add another paragraph to the Georgia Constitution.

It give crime victims the right:
-To notice of all proceedings involving the alleged criminal.
-To be heard at any proceedings involving that release, plea or sentencing.

South Carolina Constitutional Amendment:

Amendment 1: "The Superintendent of Education must be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate..."

If this amendment is approved:
-The 2018 winner will serve as the state's last elected Superintendent of Education.
-The Governor will appoint it with the consent of the State Senate.

Local South Carolina ballot questions:

Aiken County: "Must a one percent sales and use tax be re-imposed in Aiken County..."

If you live in Aiken County:
-You already pay that one percent sales tax.
-It's not an additional one percent, it's just a renewal.
-It'll go towards several things listed on your ballot, including, water infrastructure projects, storm water system improvements and park and recreational improvements.

North Augusta: "Shall the City of North Augusta be authorized to issue and sell general obligation bonds of the city..."

If the bond is approved:
-The money will go towards a new Department of Public Safety headquarters.
-The bond will help the city to pay for the building faster by taking out money now and repaying it over the next years with sales tax money.
-This is instead of collecting that money from the sales tax over the next few years.

Allendale, Edgefield & McCormick County: "Sunday Alcohol Sales..."

Right now, you can't buy or sell alcohol on a Sunday, but if you vote to change that:
-It will approve 24-hour permits no matter the day/hours.
-You can buy alcohol from a liquor store, bar or restaurant.

Local Georgia ballot questions:

Richmond, Columbia County: "Referendum to Extend the Hours of Sunday Sales of Alcohol by the Drink."

In Richmond County, this is the only County-wide Special Election question on the ballot this year.

If approved:
-It starts Sunday alcohol sales at 11:00am instead of 12:30pm.
-The question will also appear on the ballot in Grovetown and Harlem.

Columbia County: "Redevelopment Powers Law Referendum."

What it means:
-It allows commissioners to identify areas to redevelop and create a special fund for costs.
-Richmond County approved this law. The Costco area in Downtown Augusta was built using Richmond County's redevelopment powers.
-Columbia County voted against this previously.
-The money does not come from taxpayers.
-The law could be used to redevelop areas like downtown Harlem and Martinez.