Victory on Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1, and more voting for clean water

Voters in every county in Georgia approved Amendment 1, to dedicate state fees and taxes to their stated purposes. The statewide victory was 81.6%.

There is more work to do, to get the legislature to use this new law to stop taxes from being diverted to the general fund, so for example counties and cities can get more grants for tire amnesties. But now the mechanism is available.

That wasn’t the only good referendum news, and there is more voting for clean water to do.

[Victory: 82%]
Victory: 82%
Special thanks to the Suwannee River Basin cities of Adel, Hahira, and Valdosta, Atkinson, Lanier, and Lowndes Counties, for passing resolutions in support.
See also previous blog post.

The other good clean water news is that Amendment 2 passed with 74.5% Yes, also passing in every county. That’s HR 1023: people may petition for declaratory relief from certain acts of this state or certain local governments or officers or employees.

Dave Williams, Capitol Beat News Service, 4 November 2020, Georgia voters pass three ballot questions by wide margins,

The sovereign immunity amendment stems from a 2014 Georgia Supreme Court decision that essentially granted the state blanket immunity from citizen lawsuits in a case brought by the Center for a Sustainable Coast. The group had filed suit alleging the state Department of Natural Resources was illegally allowing alterations to private property in fragile coastal wetland areas protected by state law.

So that’s two victories for clean water by the people of the state of Georgia.

More voting for clean water to do

As everyone probably knows, there are Georgia runoff elections on January 5, 2021, with the usual early voting and absentee ballots. Both Georgia U.S. Senate seats are in the runoff.

A Public Service Commission runoff that was scheduled earlier will also be on January 5, 2021. WWALS has long advocated for GA-PSC to make responsible decisions on power plants and pipelines that affect all our waters, from water levels to coal ash to mercury.

Once again, we urge you to vote for clean water.

As an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, WWALS cannot support or oppose any specific candidate or political party.

But you can look at the candidates’ platforms, public statements, and voting records, and decide for yourself.

Dates for the Georgia runoff election:

  • Now:
    • Voters can register, either online or by mailing an application to the Georgia Secretary of State. Or if you’re renewing your driver’s license, you can renew there and then.

      Anyone who will be 18 years old by January 5, 2021, can register to vote in the runoff.

    • First check to see whether you are already registered.

    • Registered voters can request an absentee ballot, either online or at your county Board of Elections.
  • Wednesday, November 18: Election officials can begin mailing absentee ballots.
  • Monday, December 7: Deadline for voter registration for the runoff.
  • Monday, December 14: Early voting in person begins.
    You can find out where on the Georgia My Voter Page, or ask your local Board of Elections.
  • Tuesday, January 5, 2021: Election Day: last chance to vote in the runoff, 7AM to 7PM.
    Ask your local Board of Elections for your precinct polling place location.

    Absentee ballots must also be received by 7PM on January 5, 2021.

Georgians, please vote for clean water.

Floridians, please urge your relatives, friends, etc. in Georgia to vote for clean water.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!