CUEE filed enough petitions for a referendum

Less than one percent of the registered voters in Valdosta have made the difference between CUEE’s school consolidation petition getting on the ballot and not.

According to the City of Valdosta’s website 19 August 2011:

On May 12, 2011, the Community Unification for Educational Excellence (CUEE) group filed the appropriate paperwork to begin a petition drive with a goal of collecting enough signatures to have a referendum question placed on the November Municipal Election ballot. On July 11, 2011, the group provided the signed petitions to the City of Valdosta as required by law.

The city had 50 days from the date the petitions were delivered to verify the information. This has necessitated manually reviewing each and every one of the 10,090 signatures to confirm or deny them as valid, registered voters in the City of Valdosta as prescribed under the statute and Georgia law.

As of July 1, 2011, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, as provided by the Lowndes County Board of Elections, the total number of registered voters in the City of Valdosta was 28,274. O.C.G.A. 20-2-370 requires that the petition be signed by one-fourth of the qualified voters of the municipality. At the time the petition was presented and filed with the city, there were 28,274 voters qualified to vote in the city. This would require valid petitions signed by 7,068 qualified voters. According to the results of the verification process, 7,163 petitions were determined to be valid. Thus, the petition is certified to be valid, and the city will notify the Lowndes County Board of Elections to place the question before voters of the city in the November Municipal election.

A difference of 95 signatures, or 0.33% of the registered voters.

So far, CUEE has successfully outmaneuvered FVCS. Will FVCS finally stop up and either mount a legal challenge or simply get enough voters out to vote no?



“Shall the City of Valdosta public school system and the Lowndes County public school system be consolidated by amending the City of Valdosta charter to abolish the City of Valdosta’s public school system and making the City of Valdosta public school system a part of the Lowndes County public school system?”
text of the referendum for the November ballot