Political Notes — Lottery transfers exceed $1 billion for first time

[private]The Georgia Lottery cranked out record-breaking profits for fiscal year 2016 as for the first time ever it transferred more than $1 billion to the state treasury for HOPE scholarships and pre-K programs.

“Educational programs funded by the lottery continue to lay the groundwork for Georgia’s evolving and growing workforce,” said Gov. Nathan Deal in announcing the $1.09 billion in lottery profits.

That number exceeded the 2015 transfer amount by more than $117 million.

“We’re proud to have reached the phenomenal milestone of raising $1 billion for HOPE and Pre-K,” said Georgia Lottery President Debbie Dlugolenski Alford. “Our success is a direct reflection of teamwork.”

Since it started in 1993, the Georgia Lottery has provided a total of $17.6 billion for the education programs it funds.

Turnout is down, as usual

Voter turnout generally declines between a primary election and the runoff, and this year is no exception, if early voting is any indication.

As of Tuesday, advance ballots had been cast by 74,831 voters for the July 26 runoff election (early voting started July 5), according to Candice Broce, a spokesperson for the secretary of state’s office.

By comparison, there were 329,343 early ballots cast prior to the May 24 primary, so unless there is an extraordinary surge in advance voting over the next couple of days, the number of early ballots in the runoff will fall far short of the primary total.

Turnout may be even lower than usual in this year’s primary, because there are no statewide runoffs and just one congressional runoff in the 3rd District Republican primary between Mike Crane and Drew Ferguson.

Environmental heroes

The environmental law firm GreenLaw has announced this year’s winners of its “Environmental Heroes” awards.

The Ogden Doremus Award for excellence in environmental law is going to Mindy Goldstein, the director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory Law School. The “Heroes” are environmentalists Nan and Britt Pendergrast, and the lifetime achievement award winner is Summerville attorney Bobby Lee Cook.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Georgia Lottery , Greenlaw , runoff election , voter turnout