Quick recap of the Georgia license plate story:
1) Georgia wanted people to vote online for the next state license plate. There were 8 options to choose from.
2) Three of them had “In God We Trust” written on the bottom… (Images aren’t working on this link)
3) State officials told the media that IGWT was NOT going to be on the plates. They were just an optional sticker people could buy for $1. They didn’t change the images on the voting website.
4) Surprise, surprise, the three license plates with IGWT on them were chosen as the three finalists!
More than 400,000 votes were cast and this week, Revenue revealed the three finalists — all of which feature IGWT. Again, the agency did not explain that the phrase won’t be pre-printed on all plates. An agency spokesman would not say how many votes each design received. But at some point, a message must have gotten through. The proposed designs on the department’s website no longer show IGWT.
The tift has, however, gotten individuals on opposite sides of the issue to agree on one thing: The Department of Revenue should have done a better job communicating its proposal.
Hemant Mehta, an Atlanta atheist who runs the “Friendly Atheist” website, said the department’s failure to communicate appeared intentional.
“It seemed like state officials were using a ‘bat signal’ to get people to vote for those [plates with IGWT] and they clearly did,” he said. “This is a problem of their own making.”
Mehta also doesn’t object to the state selling the IGWT stickers at local tag offices, although he believes other stickers ought to be available, too. The American Humanist Association agrees and on Thursday called on the state to also offer a sticker that says “E Pluribus Unum,” the Latin phrase meaning “Out of Many, One,” the original U.S. motto.
I’ve been told by local sources that the state will have a three-day revote from Monday through Wednesday.
(I haven’t found an article reporting that yet.)
Kudos to state officials for correcting their own mistake, although they could’ve done it a long time ago and saved the state a lot of unnecessary hassle.