Democrats include 9 questions on upcoming primary ballot

When voters head to the polls for the May 24 primary, they will have more to decide than just their preferred candidates.

Both the Democratic Party of Georgia and the Republican Party of Georgia have added several advisory questions to their ballots.  

"Our ballot advisory questions are one of many ways we engage with Democratic voters ahead of the midterm elections. After primary voting concludes, we look forward to supporting our slate of strong Democratic candidates as they fight to advance an agenda that will move Georgia forward," said Scott Hogan, executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia.  


While the Republican questions focus on issues like illegal immigration, election integrity and transgender athletes, the ones on the Democratic side range from paid parental leave to Medicaid expansion to legalizing and regulating marijuana:

  1. Should the United States remove obstacles to economic advancement by forgiving all student loan debt?
  2. Should all Georgians have access to paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child?
  3. Should every three- and four-year-old in Georgia be given the opportunity to attend a high-quality preschool free of charge?
  4. Should Georgia voters have the right to gather signed petitions to directly place questions on the ballot, whether to change the law or poll the public?
  5. Should families earning less than $150,000 per year receive an expanded tax credit to help cover the costs of raising children?
  6. Should the State of Georgia expand access to health care for over half a million Georgians by utilizing federal funds to expand Medicaid?
  7. Should the State of Georgia expand voter access by increasing early voting opportunities, allowing same-day voter registration, removing obstacles to voting by mail, and installing secure ballot drop boxes, accessible at all times, through Election Day?
  8. Should marijuana be legalized, taxed, and regulated in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age or older, with proceeds going towards education, infrastructure, and health care programs?
  9. Should the State of Georgia incentivize the development of clean, renewable energy sources to support America’s energy independence?Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson, who is CEO of Paramount Consulting Group and a panelist on FOX 5's The Georgia Gang, said the questions will provide two main benefits--data and differentiation.


"In 2022, I mean, data is everything.  You've got to know what your voters care about.  You've got to know about the trends that are out there," Johnson explained.  "These are issues that Democratic voters care deeply about and it's also a way to make sure that people clearly understand the distinction from what Democrats are prioritizing versus what the Republican are prioritizing."

Johnson said in recent years successful Democratic candidates have used data to inform their campaigns.  

In 2002, the Democratic Party had three questions on the primary ballot and each one garnered 91% or more "Yes" votes.  While Johnson expects most voters to agree with the questions posed, he said that may not always be the case.  

"There may be some issues that they thought going in that would actually get a higher response and there may be some that may surprise you," said Johnson.