Proposed Constitutional Amendments On The 2016 Ga. Ballot

A voter takes a “I’m a Georgia Voter” sticker after voting during Georgia’s primary election at the polling station at South Lowndes Recreation Complex in Lake Park, Ga., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In addition to selecting local public officials and the country’s next president on Nov. 8, Georgia citizens will vote on four ballot measures to amend the state constitution. Here is some information to help you make your choice when at the polling booth:

Amendment One

Ballot language:

Provides greater flexibility and state accountability to fix failing schools through increasing community involvement.

Senate Resolution No. 287

Resolution Act No. 309

Ga. L. 2015, p. 1498

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?

Amendment One, also known as the “school takeover plan,” would allow the state of Georgia to create an Opportunity School District to take over schools deemed “chronically failing,” according to a state rating system.

More information:

Amendment Two

Ballot language:

Authorizes penalties for sexual exploitation and assessments on adult entertainment to fund child victims’ services.

Senate Resolution No. 7

Resolution Act No. 306

Ga. L. 2015, p. 1497

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow additional penalties for criminal cases in which a person is adjudged guilty of keeping a place of prostitution, pimping, pandering, pandering by compulsion, solicitation of sodomy, masturbation for hire, trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, or sexual exploitation of children and to allow assessments on adult entertainment establishments to fund the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund to pay for care and rehabilitative and social services for individuals in this state who have been or may be sexually exploited?

Amendment Two would create the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund, to provide rehabilitative and social services to children who have been sexually exploited. It would draw those funds from additional fines placed on convicted sex traffickers and an annual $5,000 fee on adult entertainment businesses.

More information:

Amendment Three

Ballot language:

Reforms and re-establishes the Judicial Qualifications Commission and provides for its composition, governance, and powers.

House Resolution No. 1113

Resolution Act No. 537

Ga. L. 2016, p. 896

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to abolish the existing Judicial Qualifications Commission; require the General Assembly to create and provide by general law for the composition, manner of appointment, and governance of a new Judicial Qualifications Commission, with such commission having the power to discipline, remove, and cause involuntary retirement of judges; require the Judicial Qualifications Commission to have procedures that provide for due process of law and review by the Supreme Court of its advisory opinions; and allow the Judicial Qualifications Commission to be open to the public in some manner?

Amendment Three would allow state lawmakers to recreate the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the watchdog agency that polices the state’s judges. 

More information: 

Amendment Four

Ballot language:

Dedicates revenue from existing taxes on fireworks to trauma care, fire services and public safety.

Senate Resolution No. 558

Resolution Act No. 530

Ga. L. 2016, p. 895

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the proceeds of excise taxes on the sale of fireworks or consumer fireworks be dedicated to the funding of trauma care, firefighter equipping and training, and local public safety purposes?

Amendment Four would dedicate funds raised through excise taxes on fireworks in the state to funding trauma care, equipment and training for firefighters and local public safety efforts.

More information on these ballot measures and other aspects of the November Georgia election are available on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.

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