What was bifactional politics?A political scene that revolves around a powerful family or individual of great personality, creating ''pro'' and ''anti'' blocs. During much of the 1900s, Georgia politics was dominated by the Talmage family.
What was the county unit system?The former method of allocating votes in Democratic Primary Elections and representation in the Georgia General Assembly. This system allocated votes and seats on a per-county basis. It biased representation in favor of small, rural counties as opposed to populous, urban counties.
What is The Fall Line?The fall line separates Georgia's northern foothills from its fertile, rolling lowlands. This geographical feature is political significant because the area above the fall line generally supports industry while the area below, agriculture.
What is The Black Belt?Georgia's historic black belt straddles the middle part of the state. The term refers to the region's fertile soil and large African American population. Before the Civil War, large plantations where slaves toiled producing cotton dominated the black belt.

What was the Republican Rebirth?The Democratic Party controlled the Governor's Mansion and both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly from post-Reconstruction (late 1800s) until 2003 when Republican Sonny Perdue was elected Georgia's governor. The Republican Rebirth began in the 1990s as the result of redistricting and white voters increasingly embracing the Republican Party. The Republican Party now controls the Governor's Mansion as well as the Assembly.
What is bleaching (in politics)?When a state like Georgia create majority African American districts, the proportion of white voters in adjacent districts increases. Because neighboring districts become ''whiter'' this process is called bleaching.
What was the origin of the Georgia Colony?Georgia was established in 1732 through a corporate charter granted by the government of Great Britain. Under this charter, Georgia was governed by a Board of Trustees who had to get the British Parliament's approval for most substantive policy changes.
What was the Royal Governor of the Georgia Colony?From 1752 to 1776m Georgia was administered by the British Crown that the British Secretary of State. A royal governor was selected by the Crown, and a royal charter was crafted that was intended to be a model of colonial administration. The royal charter allowed the governor to pass laws, create courts, and engage in other administration.

What is the Georgia Constitutional Amendment Process?To amend the Georgia Constitution, a proposal must be approved by two-thirds of members of both chambers of the General Assembly. Then, the proposal must be approved by a majority of the voters at the next general election. The Georgia Constitution has been frequently amended.
What is the Georgia General Assembly?The Georgia General Assembly is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. It has responsibility for enacting legislation for the state. It can also monitor the implementation of legislation, which includes oversight of the executive branch (the governor and state agencies).
What is a Special Session?The Georgia General Assembly is in session for only 40 days each year but the Governor can summon legislators for special sessions. For example, the Assembly meets in special sessions to redraw legislative districts.
Who is the Lieutenant Governor?Georgia's Lieutenant Governor presides over the Senate. The Lieutenant Governor has historically played a large role in assigning senators to committees. This is an elected office within the executive branch. The Lieutenant Governor does not run for office on a ticket with the Governor.

Who are administration floor leaders?Unlike other U.S. legislative chambers, the Georgia Senate has not just a majority and minority leader, but also administration floor leaders. The governor names his own floor leaders, who typically have two lieutenants, and charges them with shepherding his agenda through to enactment.
What is the Office of Legislative Counsel?The Office of Legislative Counsel review bills to ensure they do not violate the state or federal constitutions. Also, this Office helps Georgia legislators draft bills and resolutions in the right format.
What is a line-item veto?Georgia's governor, like most state chief executives, can exercise a line-item veto to exclude specific items from appropriations bills while signing the rest of it into law.
What is Crossover Day?The 33rd day (out of 40) in the Georgia legislative term is known as Crossover Day. Bills and resolutions must pass the chamber they were introduced in and cross-over into the other chamber to be considered during that session. This internal rule helps the Assembly manage its workload.

What is the Legislative Budget Office?Georgia's Legislative Budget Office provides significant staff support for Georgia legislators. Created in 1969, the Office helps legislators conduct the annual hearings where executive branch representatives justify their budget requests and then digest information from these hearings.
What is the local legislation norm?The local legislation norm facilitates enactment of bills that affect a single county or city. The general rule is that if all the legislators representing the jurisdiction affected by the bill favor it, the legislature will pass the proposal. Larger local delegations can adopt a less demanding rule than unanimity.
What is the State of the State Address?Early in the legislative session, the Governor delivers a State of the State address. This address outlines many of the legislative priorities for the upcoming session.
What is the Board of Regents?The Board of Regents sets policy for Georgia's system of higher education. Regents, who are appointed by the Governor, serve staggered terms.

What is the Governor's budget estimate?Georgia's governor has great influence over the state budget since his revenue estimate sets the budget's maximum size. The legislature can shift the money around among programs but cannot set overall spending levels above the governor's estimate.
What is the supplemental budget?Relatively early in the Georgia General Assembly session, the legislature enacts what is know as the supplemental budget. This budget distributes much of any surplus accumulated during the first six months of the year. The money goes primarily to construction projects.
Who is the Secretary of State?Georgia's Secretary of State is an elected executive office (he or she is not appointed by the Governor). The Secretary has many responsibilities, including running elections, handling the incorporation of businesses, overseeing 35 licensing bodies, and managing the regulation of securities exchanges within the state.
Who is the Attorney General?Georgia's Attorney General is an elected position. It is not appointed by the Governor. The Attorney General represents the State of Georgia in legal matters.

Who is the Insurance Commissioner?Georgia's Insurance Commission is an elected position within the executive branch. The Commissioner is not appointed by the Governor. The Commissioner is charged with regulating the insurance industry, which includes setting rates, determining which carriers are licensed to operate in Georgia, and fielding complaints from insurance policy holders.
Who is the State School Superintendent?The Georgia Superintendent of Schools is an elected position in the executive branch of state government. The superintendent is the administrative head of the Georgia of Department of Education, which oversees the state's K-12 public education system. The superintendent is charged with instituting the policies of the state Board of Education and managing operations for the school system.
Who is the Commissioner of Agriculture?The Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture is a state executive position in the Georgia state government. The commissioner heads the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for regulating and promoting Georgia's agriculture industry. Like many Georgia state executive officers, the commissioner is elected to four year-terms during federal midterm election years.
Who is the Commissioner of Labor?The Georgia Commissioner of Labor is an elected executive position in the Georgia state government. The commissioner is responsible for implementing the state's labor regulations, operating its unemployment insurance and rehabilitation programs, and producing statistics and research covering the Georgia labor market.

What is the Public Service Commission?Georgia's Public Service Commission regulates industries such as providers of telephones, electricity, and natural gas, whose rate increases must be approved by the PSC. It also regulates trucking industry and bus lines. The PSC has five members elected statewide to staggered terms.
What is the Department of Transportation?The Georgia DOT Board sets priorities for and oversees road construction projects. The legislature appoints Board members. Caucuses representing each of the state's congressional districts elect one board member.
What is the Georgia Supreme Court?Georgia's highest court is composed of seven justices. The Court has jurisdiction to hear appeals of all sorts. Some cases are appealed directly to the Court while others are heard only if the Court grants certiorari (a petition to hear an appeal). Georgia Supreme Court justices are elected in statewide, non-partisan elections.
What is the Georgia Court of Appeals?Georgia's Court of Appeals was created in 1906 to alleviate the Supreme Court's workload. The Court has 12 members but it hears appeals in panels of three. Court of Appeals judges are elected in statewide, non-partisan elections.

What are Superior Courts?Superior Courts serve as each county's court of general jurisdiction. The state is divided into 49 superior court circuits, each circuit consists of one or more whole counties. Superior Courts have jurisdiction in all felony cases, cases involving divorce, and real property. Superior Court judges are elected in non-partisan elections.
What are State Courts?Approximately half of Georgia's counties have state courts. State courts handle misdemeanors (criminal offenses punishable by a year or less in prison) and other cases not reserved for Superior Courts. State Court judges are elected in non-partisan elections.
What are probate courts?Each Georgia county has a probate court that deals with issues related to wills and estates, appointment of guardians, and the involuntary hospitalization of individuals. In smaller counties, probate judges may responsibility for administering elections. Probate judges are elected in partisan elections.
What are magistrate courts?Twenty Georgia counties (generally the larger ones) have a magistrate court. These courts have limited jurisdiction, mainly confined to civil claims of less than $15,000 and procedural matters such as conducting preliminary hearings. Magistrate courts have an elected chief magistrate who can appoint other magistrates.

What are juvenile courts?Each superior court circuit in Georgia has a separate juvenile court that handles cases involving criminal activities by minors. Juvenile courts have concurrent jurisdiction with superior courts in child custody and child support matters arising from divorces cases, and in proceedings to terminate parental rights. Original jurisdiction over juveniles who commit certain serious violent felonies resides in the superior courts. Juvenile court judges are appointed by agreement of the superior court judges of the circuit to four-year terms of office.
What are municipal courts?Cities and towns in Georgia establish municipal courts to handle traffic offenses, local ordinance violations, conduct preliminary hearings, issue warrants, and in some instances hear misdemeanor shoplifting and possession of marijuana cases. Municipal court judges are often appointed by the mayor, some are elected. There are more than 350 municipal courts operating in Georgia.
How are judges selected in Georgia??Since 1984, judges (other than probate judges and most chief magistrates) have been selected through non-partisan elections. In 2011, the General Assembly changed the timing of judicial elections to coincide with party primary elections, potentially saving the expense of conducting a run-off election for a statewide judgeship.
What is the Judicial Nominating Commission?Members of the Judicial Nominating Commission are appointed by the Governor and screen prospective judicial appointees. Although most judges are elected, in reality most judges initially come to the bench via appointment and win re-election without opposition.

What is the Judicial Qualifications Commission?The Judicial Qualifications Commission handles complaints against judges. The JQC operates on a shoestring budget as it investigates a growing number of complaints. In fiscal year 2010, the JQC received almost 500 complaints, which led to 33 investigations.
What is Dillon's Rule?Dillon's Rule addresses the relationship between local governments and the state. According to the view advanced by Justice John Dillon, local governments are creatures of the state and receive their legal authority from the state, rather than the people. Georgia follows Dillon's Rule.
Who are County Commissioners?County commissioners serve as the policy-making authority for the county, adopting ordinances and resolutions and crafting regulations pertaining to county government and county property. Most county commissions have between one and ten members.
Who are County Managers?In smaller counties, the chair of the county commission may function as the CEO of county government, overseeing its day-to-day activities. In more populous counties, a county manager appointed by the commission heads up the executive branch, while the commission and its chair adopt the budget and establish the procedures under which the county government functions.

Who are Clerks of Superior Courts?Every county in Georgia elects a clerk of the superior court. The clerk maintains court records for the county and helps judges with their paperwork.
Who are County Sheriffs?Every county in Georgia elects its sheriff. The sheriff is the primary law enforcement officer in most counties, charged with both keeping the peace and maintaining the jail. Counties can create police departments to supplement the sheriff, but the sheriff cannot be replaced.
Who are County Tax Commissioners?Every Georgia county elects a tax commissioner. The tax commissioner maintains the tax records of the county, receives tax returns, and collects and pays out tax receipts to state and local governments.
What is Consolidated County-Municipal Government?Seven Georgia counties have consolidated county-municipal government with the cities and towns in their borders. This means the city and county governments are merged, rather than separate. Consolidation requires authorizing local legislation and approval by a vote of the residents of the county. Athens and Clarke County, for example, merged in 1990.

What are Municipal Charters?Georgia cities get their fundamental law in charters granted by the legislature through local legislation. Municipal charters describe a local government -- the institutions, the officers, how elections will be conducted, and how decisions will be made. A charter also indicates the scope of the municipality's powers and physical boundaries.
What are Special Purpose Districts?In addition to cities and counties, the state also allows for the creation of special purpose districts. Special purpose districts provide multiple services but do so for one principle function, typically related to development, redevelopment, or reclamation of land and property within the district's jurisdiction.
What is the strong mayor-council type of municipal government:?Georgia has 535 incorporated municipalities and they have different forms of government. In mayor-council forms of government, the mayor performs executive functions and an elected council, policy-making functions. In strong mayor-council governments, the mayor has authority to hire and fire city department heads and, frequently, to veto ordinances passed by the city council.
What is the weak mayor-council type of municipal government?Georgia has 535 incorporated municipalities and they have different forms of government. In mayor-council forms of government, the mayor performs executive functions and an elected council, policy-making functions. In weak mayor-council governments, the mayor's job is largely ceremonial. Responsibility for hiring and firing employees is either shared with or delegated exclusively to the city council.

What is the council-manager form of municipal government: ?Georgia has 535 incorporated municipalities and they have different forms of government. The council-manager form invests primary executive function in the hands of a professional city manager. This manager oversees the implementation of policy decisions made by the council.
What is the commission government type of municipal government?Georgia has 535 incorporated municipalities and they have different forms of government. Commission government has a council chosen at large from the entire municipality. The commission is headed by a chairman selected from the body, usually on a rotating basis. Each commissioner assumes responsibility for overseeing a particular department of government.
What is a Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax (SPLOST)?Traditionally, local governments in Georgia has relied on property tax revenue. However, the state legislature has authorized both counties and local school districts to add an additional cent to the sales tax collected by the state, known as Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). Levying a SPLOST requires public approval via referendum.
What was Milton County?Whether to recreate Milton County is a controversial issue in metro Atlanta politics. Milton County was created in 1857 and Alpharetta served as its county seat. Milton's cotton-economy collapsed due to boll weevil infestation and in 1932, it was merged into Fulton County. Today, some argue that Fulton County should be separated and Milton County restored.

What is the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)?The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is a regional governmental authority established in the 1960s to deliver coordinated transportation services among the counties that make-up metro Atlanta. Funded by Fulton and DeKalb Counties, MARTA is one of the largest governments in Georgia, with almost 5,000 employees, including a 300-person police force.
What is Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act singles out Georgia and six other southern states for special scrutiny. States subject to Section 5 must pre-clear any changes to their election laws with the U.S. Department of Justice or D.C. District Court prior to holding elections under the modified laws. Initially scheduled to expire in 1970, this Act has been repeatedly renewed.
What are the bailout provisions of the Voting Rights Act?Some states and local governments are subject to heightened enforcement provisions under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. However, a covered jurisdiction can bail out of these special requirements if it can prove it has conducted elections free from discrimination for a decade. In 2011, the City of Sandy Springs sought and obtained this relief from Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
What is the Georgia Ethics Commission?Formerly known as the State Ethics Commission, the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission collects all campaign finance and financial disclosure reports for the state and for local governments, advises and educates the public on all aspects of the Campaign Finance Act, and investigates potential campaign finance violations.

What are runoff elections?Georgia is one of fewer than 10 states that require majority vote in primary and general elections. In Georgia, if no candidate receives more than 50% vote share, the two top-polling candidates compete in a run-off election. In other states, the candidate with the most votes wins (even if the winner receives less than 50% of votes).
What is an open primary system?Georgia has adopted an open primary system. This means a voter does not have to be a registered member of a party to vote in its primary. Other states hold closed primary elections. In primary elections, parties select their candidates for general elections.
What are off-year elections?The general election comes in November of even-numbered years. U.S. presidential elections occur on a four-year cycle, but Georgia, like most states, selects statewide constitutional officers (such as the Governor) in off-year elections so as not to coincide with presidential elections. The thought is that makes the Georgia electorate more attentive to state issues when statewide offices appear on the general election ballot.
What are special elections?Elections at times different than regularly scheduled elections may become necessary to fill vacancies caused by death or resignation of an officeholder. Frequently, the Governor calls for a special election in which all candidates compete, regardless of party (without first holding party primaries), followed by a runoff if no candidate wins a majority vote share.

What is the Georgia Department of Education?The Georgia Department of Education oversees public education throughout the state, ensuring that laws and regulations pertaining to education are followed and that state and federal money appropriated for education is properly allocated to local school systems.
What are Charter Schools?Charter schools are a controversial innovation in public education. They are bound by the same budgetary, admissions, and legal obligations as the public schools they operate under, but without some of the regulatory and curriculum constraints.
What is the Quality Basic Education Act?The Quality Basic Education Act (QBE) was a major educational reform passed in 1985. The issue that compelled the passage of QBE was the inequality in funding among school systems in the state. The Act increases funding parity, raised teacher pay, established a core curriculum, and implemented standardized testing to monitor state progress.