Georgia Election Update: What’s on the Ballot?

November 1, 2018

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, election season in Georgia! Early voting began Oct. 15 and ends Nov. 2, 2018. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6 – and so is the deadline for absentee voting.

Voters will cast their ballots for all constitutional amendments and some state and local elections. The No. 1 position captivating the Georgia audience is governor. With a record number of early voters from previous presidential and nonpresidential elections, Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, Republican candidate Brian Kemp and Libertarian candidate Ted Metz are competing to lead as the 83rd governor of Georgia. The latest poll showed that a difference of only 1 percent separates the Democratic and Republican candidates, stoking fears that a runoff could be imminent if neither candidate receives 50 percent of the vote.  

On the ballot, voters also will say yes or no to five constitutional amendments and respond to two bills for statewide referendum questions. Many local governments will give voters the option to weigh in on what has become known as the “brunch bill.” If adopted by voters in a local jurisdiction, the restaurants in those communities would have the option to begin selling beer, wine and cocktails at 11 a.m., rather than waiting until 12:30 p.m., as is currently allowed.





Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund (HR 238)

Amendment 1

Budgets and Environment

Creates a land conservation trust fund with 0.75 percent of revenue from sales and use taxes currently collected on outdoor recreation equipment

Statewide Business Court (HR993)

Amendment 2

State Judiciary

Creates a statewide business court and establishes procedures and rules for judicial selection, term length and qualifications

Forestland Conservation Use Property Tax Revisions (HR 51)

Amendment 3

Natural Resources

Revises method for determining market value of forestland and creates a timberland property class to expand the types of private property that may qualify for lower property taxes through the state’s conservation use property tax abatement program known as CUVA

Marsys Law

(SR 146)

Amendment 4

Law Enforcement

Adds certain rights of crime victims to the state constitution, including, upon request, the right to notice of proceedings involving the alleged crime; the right to timely notice of arrest, release or escape of the accused; and the right to be heard at any scheduled proceedings involving the release, plea or sentencing of the accused

Sales and Use Tax Referendum by School District (SR 95)

Amendment 5


Allows a school district or multiple districts that enroll a majority of students within  the county to call for a countywide sales tax referendum for educational purposes (E-SPLOST)

Homestead Exemption for Municipalities

(HB 820)

Referendum A


Provides for a homestead exemption for property owners in certain cities using adjusted values based on the assessed value in previous tax years to limit the rate at which property taxes increase year over year. Although the measure requires a statewide vote, Atlanta is currently the only city that meets the qualifications of a municipal corporation covered by the exemption   

Tax Exemption for Homes for the Mentally Disabled  (HB 196)

Referendum B

Taxes and Housing

Clarifies the application of an existing property tax exemption for nonprofit housing for the mentally disabled, to include properties indirectly owned by a for-profit corporation that has constructed, renovated or financed the property with the nonprofit organization

Source: Ballotopia