Local

June 4, 2014

Ballot questions looking for pulse of the public

It’s not just candidates voters will be expected to endorse or reject on Tuesday’s ballot.

It’s not just candidates voters will be expected to endorse or reject on Tuesday’s ballot.

If you vote in the Republican primary, there are also two ballot questions. If a Democrat, there’ll be three.

Repeated attempts to get information about the specifics of the Democratic questions were unsuccessful, but Kristin Sosanie, communications director for the S.C. Democratic Party, said the questions are submitted to the Democratic Party by members of the House Democratic caucus.

Sosanie said in an email that caucus members want to see how people feel about certain issues before they move them forward in the legislature. Then they are certified by the party and put on the ballot.

Much the same thing is true for Republicans, said Robert Rabon, chairman of the Horry County Republican Party.

He said that Republican candidates could use the results to decide if they want to make the issue part of their campaign.

“When the candidate sees the number one thing is jobs, all they talk about is jobs, jobs, jobs,” Rabon said.

Rabon agreed the first question would outlaw abortion, which he said would be fine with him.

He will vote “Yes” on that question on Tuesday.

But he will go against the second question, even though he knows the issue will be popular with most people.

“Obviously, most of the people will vote to take away taxes,” he said.

But he can’t support the question as written because it does not say where the lost revenue will come from. Governments need guaranteed income to borrow money, and Rabon said sales tax money (which may replace income taxes) is not guaranteed income because it can fluctuate from year to year.

He thinks the question is a step or so ahead in the process, and a replacement needs to be defined before you go about getting rid of income taxes.

“Until they have a replacement for it,” he said, “I wouldn’t support it.”

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