With the presidential primaries behind them, Columbia County's political leaders are planning for the next round of primary elections in July when the ballots will include nonbinding questions about local issues.
Juanita Jenkins casts her vote
in the presidential primary at Marvin United Methodist Church on Tuesday.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
In 2002, Alvin Starks, then chairman of the Columbia County Republican Party, oversaw the development of 12 questions that surveyed Republican primary voters on a range of county and state topics.
This time, the group has formed a committee and is seeking input from the community before settling on this year's slate of issues.
"They've sent letters out to all of our elected officials to tell them that we're going to be working on ballot questions," said current party chairman Lee Muns. "We want feedback from the general public as well."
Muns said the committee is made up of party members, executive board officials and a legal adviser, who will help scrutinize the wording of the questions.
The new system should add validity to the results, Muns said.
The committee has a deadline of noon May 3 for turning in their list to the county's board of elections office. Muns said he does not expect the list to exceed 10 questions.
The questions will appear on the July 20 general primary ballots, which also will include candidates for state and local races as well as a binding referendum about the extension of the county's 1-cent sales tax.
Unlike in the 2002's general primaries, a list of questions also will be available for county Democratic voters, many of whom complained last time of being left out of the surveys.
The Columbia County Democratic Party also has a committee working on its own additions to the Democrat ballots.
"They're going to be broad of course, and they're going to be questions that have been left out of the discussion," said Democratic Party chairman Terry Holley.
To contribute suggestions for questions being developed separately for the Republican and Democratic primary ballots contact party leaders at:
Columbia County Republican Party - firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbia County Democratic Party - email@example.com
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