Getting on the ballot and getting the ballot right
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Getting on the Ballot and Getting the Ballot Right. Che Watkins June 25, 2013. Getting on the Ballot. 2007 - Introduced regional transportation funding legislation; no vote taken in House or Senate; study committee created.

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Getting on the Ballot and Getting the Ballot Right

Che Watkins

June 25, 2013


Getting on the Ballot

  • 2007 - Introduced regional transportation funding legislation; no vote taken in House or Senate; study committee created.

  • 2008 - Reintroduced regional transportation funding legislation; passed in the House (134-35) but failed to win 2/3 vote in Senate (35-18, failed by 3).

  • 2009 - The Senate passed a regional transportation funding measure by a vote of 53-2 and the House passed a separate statewide funding proposal by a vote of 149-18. A conference committee was unable to reach a compromise between the two mechanisms.

  • 2010 - The Georgia General Assembly passed the Transportation Investment Act. The House vote was 141-29 and the Senate vote was 43-8.


Ballot Language

Ballot Question: “Shall _____County’s transportation system and the transportation network in this region and the state be improved by providing for a 1 percent special district transportation sales and use tax for the purpose of transportation projects and programs for a period of ten years?”

Preamble:

“Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight.”


The Hand You Are Dealt

  • Election date

  • Size of region

  • Project selection process

  • Sunset date

  • Timeline

  • Exemptions


What You Can Control

  • Governance – 501 c(3) and 501 c(4)

    (Citizens for Transportation Mobility and the Metro Atlanta Voter Education Network)

  • Budget and fundraising

    ($8.8 million total)

  • Community outreach

    (First Friday Group – over 150 organizations)

  • Messaging

    (Keep it simple – what’s in it for me?)


Budget and Fundraising ($8.8 million)

  • Targeted mail (1.3M+ pieces; 20k handwritten postcards)

  • Social Media, web/online (28M+ impressions)

  • Broadcast (network, cable, radio)

  • Corporate program (350+ companies)

  • Outdoor (100+ boards)

  • Field teams (26 FTEs)

  • Speakers bureau (800+ presentations)

  • Phones (2 million robocalls, 300k personal)


Key Messaging

  • Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

  • Less Traffic, More Jobs, Get Home Faster

  • Need to keep Atlanta a Competitive Place that can create jobs

  • Need to take steps toward a modern, clean and fast transit system for the entire region


And Sometimes…Final Vote 37-63

  • First-ever Regional Referenda for Georgia

  • Complex Issue

  • Economic conditions

  • Trust in government

  • Media

  • Opposition

  • No obvious “Champions” for entire region

  • Large, Diverse Region (45% of GA population)


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