On May 22, Cobb County voters participating in the Democratic Party Primary Election will be asked to do more than select their preferred candidates to represent the party in the upcoming general elections.
Democratic primary voters across the state will be asked questions about bump stocks, Medicaid spending, redrawing of district lines and mass transit systems in Georgia.
“The questions were compiled at the state level by the Democratic Party of Georgia,” said Michael Owens, the Chair of the Cobb County Democratic Committee. “(They) reflect issues that are gripping not only Cobb County, but the state of Georgia.”
Voters will be asked to indicate if they believe bump stocks — accessories that are designed to manipulate semi-automatic firearms into simulating fully automatic weapons — should be prohibited in Georgia.
“It is an accessory that can be used to increase the rate of fire for a weapon,” said Owens. “From a bipartisan standpoint, people across the country see the danger.”
After the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, officials found twelve firearms with attached bump stocks in the shooter’s hotel room. Since the massacre, Massachusetts and New Jersey have outlawed bump stocks, and Florida, Vermont, Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington have passed legislation to follow suit.
The Democratic Party will also ask voters if Georgia should use federal tax dollars to expand Medicaid in an effort to save rural hospitals and create more than 50,000 jobs. According to the Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association, Georgia endured five hospital closures from January 2010 to 2016.
“There are rural hospitals, clinics who have closed their doors. … Many of these 50,000 jobs would go toward putting hard-working Georgians to work in these hospitals,” Owens said.
Democratic voters will be asked whether they want Georgia to place the power of drawing district lines under the authority of an independent, non-partisan committee.
Congressional and state legislative lines in Georgia are dictated by the state laws. This allows the political party in power to pass legislation that
influences where geographic lines are drawn. Multiple bills that attempted to adjust district boundaries filed in the Georgia Legislature in recent years have drawn scrutiny from Democrats, who say those adjustments were an attempt to fortify Republican control over those districts.
“Gerrymandering has been a pervasive issue in Georgia,” Owens said, adding, “The safest measure is to get it out of partisan hands.”
Finally, the Democratic Party will ask voters if the state should invest in mass transit. The goal of this mass transit is to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce carbon emissions and better connect communities.