Update from Muscogee County Board of Elections Member Linda Parker for January 3, 2021

FYI New Muscogee County Democratic Committee

U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner has ruled in the case alleging voter registration issues in Muscogee County, Georgia. The previous temporary restraining order has been dissolved and allows the elections office to resume the process of using provisional ballots and adjudicating election challenges. Muscogee County has policies and procedures in place that allow voters to register and vote with ease and confidence, free of voter suppression and fears. Muscogee County will continue doing what we do. To my knowledge, since my appointment to the Board, we have never stopped a citizen from voting. The Board has not removed a single voter nor will a voter be removed because of this challenge.

Nancy Boren interprets and implements voter registration laws and guidelines. Issues, concerns, and complaints are addressed immediately and effectively. Nancy and her staff display exemplary service to the citizens of Muscogee County, Georgia!

This ruling was issued after Nancy Boren testified in court to explain the process to the judge about the four thousand citizen list that Alton Russell, GOP chair, and his gang came up with. I believe the Judge saw that Muscogee County was on point procedurally. We do not suppress anyone from voting and make every effort to make the voting process as easy as possible.

Linda Garrett Parker

  • Member of the Election and Registration Board; Representative of Muscogee County Democratic Committee
  • Former Elected School Board Member in Muscogee County, Georgia
  • Chair of Deaconess Ministry at Greater Peace Baptist Church
  • Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated
  • 2019 Congressional Black Caucus Institute Bootcamp, Political Leadership Development Program Attendee in Washington, D.C.
  • Proud Mother, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother
  • Motto: If it’s broke, fix it.

Guidance for 2020 Ballot Amendments and Referendums

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

  1. Authorizes dedication of fees and taxes to their intended purposes by general state law.
    House Resolution 164
    Act No 597
    “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize the General Assembly to dedicate revenues derived from fees or taxes to the public purpose for which such fees or taxes were intended?”

Muscogee County Democratic Committee recommendsYes.

From the Democratic Party of Georgia: This question asks if you want to give the Georgia legislature authority to use tax revenue to just go to the public purpose for which the money was intended, instead of an all-purpose fund. Right now, the government can use money dedicated to one purpose, like cleaning up tire dumps and blight, and put it towards broader use. Environmental advocates support this bill because since 1990, while Georgia has raised millions of dollars to clean up specific waste, roughly 40% of those dollars have gone to other purposes. Critics of the amendment say it would remove flexibility for how the government can use money.
However, there are conditions for the amendment — dedicated funding could not exceed 1% of the total state revenues from the previous year, and in an emergency, the governor and General Assembly would have the ability to temporarily suspend dedicated funds.

2. Waives state and local sovereign immunity for violation of state laws, state and federal constitutions.
House Resolution 1023
Act No 596
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to waive sovereign immunity and allow the people of Georgia to petition the superior court for relief from governmental acts done outside the scope of lawful authority or which violate the laws of this state, the Constitution of Georgia, or the Constitution of the United States?”

MCDC recommends: Yes.

From the DPG: This question asks whether Georgians should have the right to sue local and state governments as well as elected officials and public employees in their official capacities to challenge laws that may be unconstitutional. A 2017 ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court largely eliminated the ability of Georgians to challenge the constitutionality of laws without the government’s permission. A bill seeking to restore this ability to Georgians was vetoed by Governor Deal and Governor Kemp, who cited concerns regarding lawsuits from people in mental health facilities and lawsuits involving breach of contract against government employees and officials.

Statewide Referendum

A. Establishes a tax exemption for certain real property owned by charities.
House Bill 344
Act No 149

“Shall the Act be approved which provides an exemption from ad valorem taxes for all real property owned by a purely public charity, if such charity is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code and such real property is held exclusively for the purpose of building or repairing single-family homes to be financed by such charity to individuals using loans that shall not bear interest?”

MCDC recommends: Yes

From the DPG: This question asks if 501(c)(3) organizations should be exempt from property taxes on property that is in their inventory that is intended for building or repairing single family homes. For example, if this were to pass, Habitat for Humanity Georgia would be exempt from property tax on the vacant lots they own for future building purposes.

NEWS: Primary Moved to June 9

Due to the coronavirus outbreak and closures of facilities statewide, the Secretary of State’s Office has again postponed the Presidential/Regular Primary and Non-Partisan General Election to June 9. (Source: Georgia Secretary of State)

Early voting by mail has begun (as per AJC), and we ask Democrats to reply to the absentee ballot applications which are currently being sent by mail to registered voters’ addresses. Voters should fill out the application and then either tape up and send the completed applications by mail OR take a picture or scan of the completed form and email the attached image to muscogeeelectionsandregistration@columbusga.gov. When you receive your Democratic primary absentee ballot, please follow the directions on the ballot in order to mail it to the Muscogee Board of Elections and Registration.

Although this is a tragic circumstance for our elections to be postponed, there is a silver lining: This benefits Democrats in Muscogee County and statewide because we will have 1 single primary instead of 2 separate primaries, and there will likely be a higher turnout for our downballot Democratic primary and nonpartisan candidates by June 9.

In addition, we encourage all Democrats to fill out your 2020 Census form online ASAPThe deadline or the 2020 Census is April 1 (unless the Census Bureau changes the date).