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Foundations of Georgia’s Government

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1 Foundations of Georgia’s Government
Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, Citizens’ Rights and Responsibilties

2 Georgia’s Government It is the governing document that explains the laws, governmental offices, and citizens rights and responsibilities in the state of Georgia. What is the Georgia state constitution?

3 Georgia’s Government Structure of the Georgia state constitution:
Preamble (Introduction) Articles (11 main articles) Sections Paragraphs What is the basic structure of the Georgia state constitution?

4 Georgia’s Government Article I: Bill of Rights
Article II: Voting & Elections Article III: Legislative Branch Article IV: Constitutional Boards & Commissions Article V: Executive Branch Article VI: Judicial Branch Article VII: Taxation & Finance Article VIII: Education Article IX: Counties & Municipal Corporations Article X: Amendments to the Constitution Article XI: Miscellaneous Provisions What is the basic structure of the Georgia state constitution?

5 Georgia’s Government The three branches of government are the:
Executive Branch: Carries out laws Legislative Branch: Make laws Judicial Branch: Evaluates or reviews laws What are the three branches of government?

6 Structure of U.S. Government

7 Structure of Georgia Government
Notice the similarities between the structure of the national and state governments. State Supreme Court Governor’s Mansion State Capital General Assembly Governor Lieutenant Governor

8 Courts at the state, county and city levels.
Structure of Georgia Government Executive Branch Legislative Branch Judicial Branch Carries out the laws. Makes the laws. Evaluates or reviews the laws. Governor: Nathan Deal (Republican) 82nd Governor Lieutenant Governor: Casey Cagle (Republican) Also includes the head officials of these departments: Department of Agriculture, Attorney General, GA Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, Public Service Commission, Secretary of State, and State School Superintendent. General Assembly House of Representatives: 180 members representing the citizens of Georgia. Senate: 56 members representing the citizens of Georgia. Courts at the state, county and city levels. Supreme Court Juvenile Courts Court of Appeals Superior Courts Probate Courts Magistrate Courts

9 Georgia’s Government When the U.S. Constitution was written, the writers wanted to separate the powers of the branches of government so no one branch would have all or most of the power. They also included a system of “checks and balances” to keep the branches of government accountable to one another. The Georgia constitution was modeled after the U.S. Constitution. How do the separate branches of government ensure equal power among the branches?


Veto legislation; Call special session Reviews Executive Orders Override veto; Confirm appointments; Impeach officials Appoints some court officials Determines whether laws are constitutional Can propose constitutional changes; Impeach officials LEGISLATIVE BRANCH JUDICIAL BRANCH

12 Georgia Citizen Rights and Responsibilities
The rights of Georgia citizens are found in Article I of the Georgia state constitution. Modeled after the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Along with our rights we have responsibilities We must control our actions so we don’t harm others. What are the rights and responsibilities of Georgia citizens?

13 Georgia Citizen Rights and Responsibilities
Right to freedom of religion Right to keep and bear arms Right to freedom of speech Right to life, liberty and property Right to courts Right to trial by jury Right to a lawyer Right to assemble Right to reasonable search & seizure What are the rights and responsibilities of Georgia citizens?

14 Georgia Citizen Rights and Responsibilities
Actions that harm others Actions that are immoral Actions that break laws Actions that infringe on other’s rights What actions could take these rights away?

15 Georgia Citizen Rights and Responsibilities
Wait! Don’t think that the government should only do things for the citizens. The citizens also have responsibilities to the government. Voting is an example of a citizen responsibility. Other examples of citizen responsibilities: Jury Duty Serving in military when required. What are the responsibilities of Georgia citizens?

16 Election & Voter Requirements
You must be 18 years of age or older. Be a citizen of the U.S. Citizen of Georgia and live in the county where you wish to vote. Be registered with the Secretary of State’s office 30 days before election. Have a VALID form of identification – such as a voter ID card, driver’s license or state issued ID What are the requirements to vote in Georgia?

17 Election & Voter Requirements
May not vote if they have been convicted of a felony until they complete their sentence. May not vote if they have been found by a judge to have certain mental disabilities Why can’t some people vote?

18 Election & Voter Requirements
Remember, the citizens or voters hold the power by electing officials to represent them and their interests. A general election is held in November on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in every even-numbered year. This is when national and state officials are elected. Other elections are held to elect officials or vote for issues, such as an increase in the sales tax. Run-off elections or specials elections are held when neither candidate receives at least 50% of the vote plus one. When are elections held in Georgia?

19 Political Parties What are political parties? Groups of people who join together because of shared ideas and interests Help voters know what a candidate stands for Two major political parties in US: Democrats Republicans Minor political parties also exist (Libertarian, Tea Party) Independents are not part of a particular political party

20 Political Parties What are primary elections? Elections that select candidates who represent a political party at the General Election In some states, voters must register as a Democrat or a Republican to be able to vote in primary elections In Georgia, any voter may vote in any party’s primary election at the state level

21 Voter Scenarios Tammy has just moved to Atlanta from Houston, TX. It is the day before the election and she has decided that she wants to vote in this year’s presidential election. Can she vote in this year’s election? Why or why not?

22 Voter Scenarios Adam has lived in Conyers for a year and a half and loves getting involved in local politics. He has proof of residency proving that he is a legal resident of Georgia. However, Adam never changed his driver’s license from his home state of New York. The election is next week. Can he vote in the election? Why or why not?

23 Voter Scenarios Sam has just been released from prison for robbery – a felony crime. He is not on probation and is anxious to find a job and get on with his life. His friends are encouraging him to vote for Senator Barack Obama for president. Sam is hesitant because he doesn’t know if he is eligible to vote. Can he vote in the election? Why or why not?

24 Voter Scenarios Tasha just received a speeding ticket in DeKalb county. She’s never been in trouble with the law before and is nervous that this speeding ticket will go on her record. Can she vote in the election? Why or why not?

25 Voter Scenarios Jake’s 18th birthday on Friday. The Friday before the election. He really likes John McCain and wants to help him win the presidency. Can he vote in the election? Why or why not?

26 Voter Scenarios Renee currently lives in Covington, GA (Newton County), but she is still registered to vote in Cobb County. The election is three weeks away. Can she vote in the election? Why or why not?

27 Voter Scenarios Tony has suffered from many mental disabilities most of his adult life. He works at the local grocery store and owns his own home. The neighborhood kids even call him the crazy man because he sits on his front porch and whispers to himself. He is registered to vote. Can he vote in the election? Why or why not?

28 Voter Scenarios Dr. Smith is what some call a “mad scientist.” He is a genius in the sciences and has even came close to discovering a cure for cancer. He is a celebrated doctor and scientists. Unfortunately, last year Dr. Smith was committed to a mental institution by a judge due to mental distress he suffered after the death of his cat. Can he vote in the election? Why or why not?

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