In a rare display of unity among some of the nation’s top debate coaches, the Georgia state Senate voted to keep debate at the Georgia Institute of Technology for the next six months, as scheduled, despite Gov.
Nathan Deal’s veto.
Deal, who also opposed the debate, said he supported the move, which was approved by the Senate in a 34-26 vote on Wednesday night.
The governor had said that Georgia’s reputation would be harmed by the debate and the lack of a public debate in the state.
Deal was not immediately available for comment.
Deal also issued an executive order barring the Georgia State University from holding a public public debate on the state’s proposed new constitutional amendment to expand voting rights.
The order was signed by Deal on Monday and is now on hold.
Georgia has had a public vote on the proposal since May, when lawmakers were expected to vote on it.
A study by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said the proposed constitutional amendment would have allowed more than 10,000 Georgians to vote.
It also said the amendment would create a two-party system, with two candidates in each house.
Georgia has a partisan voting system, but the proposal to add two candidates to the statewide ballot was supported by the Republican governor and a group of Republicans.
The study said Georgia’s current system of voting, where only the party of a registered voter has the authority to run for statewide office, was flawed and would lead to “more frequent, more extreme and more expensive ballot measures.”
Deal said that the governor’s order would have prevented the new bill from being considered, and that he would not allow a new measure to be brought to the ballot in the future.
The state Senate passed a resolution last week calling on Deal to reconsider the veto.
The resolution was sponsored by Sen. David Williams, a Democrat from Georgia’s southern suburbs, who said in a statement that the Senate had voted “to uphold the integrity of our democracy, our freedom and our right to choose our leaders for the first time in decades.”
“As Georgia heads into the next presidential election, we are at a critical moment in our history,” Williams said.
“The vote to restore the debate was a step in the right direction.
However, it will not be enough.”