Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Brunswick News. May 18, 2024.

Editorial: Unclear law paves way for more election chaos

The nine justices on the Georgia Supreme Court did not do the state any favors when they declined to issue a ruling on who has the authority to draw county commission lines — individual counties or the legislature.

In fact, in a state where redrawn voting maps are most always challenged and in a state with 159 individual counties, the court’s silence may have invited more chaos to Georgia elections.

The state Supreme Court was pulled into the issue by Cobb County, a county where Democrats maintain local control but Republicans hold state control. In 2022, clinging tightly to the powers of home rule, the Cobb County Commission, the majority of seats held by Democrats, shucked the redistricting map approved by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp. The commission replaced it with its own version.

The Cobb County Commission had a reason to suspect the legislature’s map of political foul play. With several tucks here and there in the voting lines, the legislature had drawn the chairwoman of the Cobb County Commission, a Democrat, out of her own district.

Cobb County rests its argument on the right to shape its own voting districts on what it says is the absence of a state law or anything in the Georgia Constitution that prohibits it.

A Cobb County Superior Court judge did not see it that way and ruled in favor of a challenge to the commission’s map. When put before the Georgia Supreme Court, justices would have nothing to do with it. Justice Nels Peterson explained why the court felt the two Cobb residents — David and Catherine Floam, whose names are on the lawsuit — failed to qualify for declaratory judgment.

“To be clear, the fact that there are two competing maps does create significant uncertainty for many,” Peterson acknowledged, while noting the couple “have not shown that this uncertainty affects their future conduct. They have not established that they are insecure about some future action they plan to take.” Sounds like an Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First?” skit.

Residents cast ballots during the early voting weeks in accordance with the voting map presented by Cobb commissioners.

It is incumbent upon state lawmakers to take whatever action is necessary to clear this matter up and prevent any future misunderstanding about whose job it is. Seek a constitutional amendment or pass a state law, whatever is necessary, to give the responsibility to counties or the General Assembly.


Valdosta Daily Times. May 20, 2024.

Editorial: Your blood can save lives

LifeSouth and the American Red Cross are ready to take your blood.

You can give the gift of life.

Blood banks in our region mirror the nation and continue to face shortages.

We encourage our readers to consider giving blood. Your generous donation of blood could help save a life.

We understand that not everyone can donate blood but those who can should give it serious consideration.

All blood types are needed. Blood and blood platelets cannot be manufactured in a laboratory. They must be donated.

The American Red Cross has said that someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. That number is staggering and it is not uncommon in some locations for demand to exceed supply.

The Red Cross has also said one blood donor can potentially save up to three lives.

Health care leaders have explained that the summer months take a toll on the blood supply, and this year is no exception.

South Georgia Medical Center must have a ready supply of blood and cannot wait until there is an emergency and blood is instantly needed.

Donors are encouraged to donate now to ensure local hospitals have the blood needed to help patients suffering from traumas, cancers and chronic illnesses, health care representatives said.

Donors must be at least 17 years old or 16 with parental permission, must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is needed.

Bloodmobiles are frequently available throughout the community and blood drives are conducted at various locations throughout the year.

LifeSouth and the Red Cross community blood centers are both good options for donating blood or for helping your business or organization in hosting a blood drive.

LifeSouth provides blood for SGMC.

You can check to find out the most convenient time and location to donate.

There are many opportunities to serve others in our community through volunteerism and donations.

But no need is more immediate or important to saving lives than giving the gift of life — your blood.