2020 Ballot Questions: LP Georgia Weighs In

Last week, LP Georgia Membership Director (and candidate for Tyrone Town Council) Danny Dolan posted his insights about the Constitutional Amendments and Referendum questions appearing on your Georgia ballot. We’re taking his lead, not to tell you how to vote, but to share our libertarian take on the issues presented. As always, we welcome other interpretations and vibrant, respectful discussion. 

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

  1. 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?  (Ballotpedia details)

Our vote: YES

Sovereign immunity – the legal doctrine that makes it nearly impossible to sue police or other government actors for violating your rights – protects government agents from accountability to the People. If this amendment passes, Georgians would regain some power to sue state actors who cause them harm or violate their rights. A government by the People and for the People should be held accountable to the People. For more on qualified immunity (at the federal level) see our coverage here.

2. 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? (Ballotpedia details)

Our vote: YES

When a tax takes money out of your pocket to fund a certain program, or fix a certain problem, you’d hope to see it spent on that program or problem. But too often, those taxes and fees go into the General Fund, and are re-allocated according to the priorities of politicians, not the people. Under this amendment, it would be harder for the state to divert your money to unrelated purposes. 

Ballot Referendum (statewide)

  1. 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? (Ballotpedia details)

Our vote: YES

This measure is intended to protect nonprofits (principally Habitat for Humanity) from paying expensive property taxes on land that doesn’t yet include a livable home. When the future homeowner takes possession, subject to interest-free financing offered by the nonprofit, property taxes then become payable.  As a party we would prefer lower taxes for everyone, not just a hand-selected few, but this measure seems to encourage good work, rather than rewarding cronies or political patrons. 

Don’t Forget: in addition to these issue votes, please support our candidates. Vote totals are a critical component to keeping ballot access in our statewide races. Please note these are all different offices or districts. You can vote for all listed candidates; no Libertarians are running against one another in the same race.
Your Georgia ballot includes:

Jo Jorgensen (L) for President, Spike Cohen (L) for VP
Shane Hazel (L) for U.S. Senate
Brian Slowinski (L) for U.S. Senate
Nathan Wilson (L) for Public Service Commissioner
Elizabeth Melton (L) for Public Service Commissioner 

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