Georgia…has spoken

Some time ago, I wrote a short piece recognizing the work of Senate Majority Leader Tommie Williams in spearheading the Georgia Speaks effort. As of today, GeorgiaSpeaks has birthed two bills based on ideas from the site.

Senator Williams has sponsored both bills; one idea submitted to the site by a prison warden the other from an IT specialist in Atlanta.

S.B. 34 came from an idea submitted by Warden Ralph Reed Kemp [Updated by Erick] of Wheeler Correction Facility. This bill makes it a misdemeanor for a prison inmate to possess photographs of any victims of sexually based crimes in which the inmate was involved. It’s typical for one who has been indicted to have access to crime scene photographs for legal purposes, but subsequent to conviction that need no longer exists. The bill does, however, make provision for the legal possession of crime scene photos when such photos are needed for legal proceedings or other purposes.

SB71 clarifies and streamlines the process used in Georgia for special elections. Typically in Georgia SPLOST and other special purpose local elections have been scattered about the year on all sorts of random dates, costing the taxpayers to put on an election when normally less than 4% of the registered voters show up. Senate Bill 71 cleans up the elections process yet a little more by requiring special elections presenting the voters with a question in odd years to all be conducted on the first Tuesday in November, and on even years, in conjunction with the presidential preference primary of that year or the general primary.  It further requires a special elections to fill vacancies to be held on uniform dates earlier in the year.  This should save the taxpayers of Georgia a little money by eliminating administratively burdenson special elections.

Congratulations to Senator Williams and his staff – apparently Georgia Speaks works!


  1. debbie0040 says:

    SPLOSTS should only be held in the General Election during even years. This would maximize voter participation.

    Many elected officials would rather put it on the ballot when there is less voter turnout as to make sure the SPLOST passes.

  2. gatormathis says:

    I like this law. Some of these referendums get pretty hard to keep up with some times.

    If it is not yet a bill, he should be more liberal with the terminology to include almost all elections.

    There are alcohol referendums, tax referendums, SPLOST referendums, and when people are voting, they pay attention. But most don’t want to go to the polls every few weeks.

    The same people who are telling you that they want non-partisan elections because of cost, will be the same ones trying to schedule these off year elections.

Comments are closed.