Shot of questionable wording on ballot
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp
Anti-tax Tea Party activists at State Capitol on Thursday
Governor Nathan Deal
ATLANTA - Sometimes voters can get pretty confused by the wording of a ballot issue.
Critics claim there's no confusion behind the wording of a special tax issue on Georgia's July 31st primary ballot, but there is bias.
They claim it's very clear that the wording is rigged in favor of 'yes' votes for an extra penny of sales tax to pay for regional transportation projects.
Known as T-SPLOST (for Transportation-Special Local Option Sales Tax) the descriptive preamble shown on the ballot reads:
"Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight."
Thursday a coalition of conservative and Tea Party opponents blasted the wording as rigged in favor of the tax.
"From the beginning, the supporters have shown they will do whatever it takes to get this passed," claimed Debbie Dooley of the Atlanta Tea Party.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who approved the preamble wording, was not available for a TV interview.
Instead, his office released a written statement saying he got input from regional "roundtables" of local officials who drew up the list of transportation projects in twelve statewide districts.
"I recognize that reasonable people can disagree on this matter and I hope that this note has been able to clearly express the reasoning behind my actions," Kemp added.
Tea Party critics called those "roundtable" officials biased, saying many support the tax.
They also blasted Governor Nathan Deal, claiming he's promised political support for local politicians who favor a 'yes' vote.
The Governor hotly denied using his influence to drum up support.
"I don't do that kinda thing," Deal told 11 Alive News.
"I advocate on behalf of the issues and the projects that I think are important; I have not asked any elected officials to tell me how they stand on it," he added.
The Tea Party and other anti-tax activists said if Secretary of State Kemp does not change the ballot wording they may file a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department under the federal Voting Rights Act.