Whether you plan to pull a Republican or Democratic Primary ballot for the July 31st election, I am urging all voters to obtain a sample ballot before going to the polls in order to view the large number of issues on which you will be voting. While the T-SPLOST and city of Brookhaven incorporation are on most voters’ radar screens, there are numerous candidates and issues that may not be.
For example, both Republican and Democratic Primary ballots have party specific questions that are non-binding. The Republican ballot has five of these, covering issues ranging from casino gambling to limits on gifts to legislators from lobbyists. The Democratic ballot has four questions that include charter school issues and tax credits for energy usage.
In addition to the partisan elections for offices such as Public Service Commission, U.S. Congress, State Senate, State House and County Commission, there are a number of non-partisan races on both ballots. These include three State Supreme Court Justices, six judgeships for the Court of Appeals and 14 judgeships for Superior Court, State Court and Probate Court.
Samples of the Republican, Democratic, and Non-Partisan Primary ballots can be obtained at the DeKalb County elections website: web.co.dekalb.ga.us /Voter/CurrentElectionInfo.htm
Early voting started July 9 and will run through July 23 at the main DeKalb County Elections office on Memorial Drive. Additional early voting runs from July 23 through July 27 at Chamblee City Hall. Absentee ballot applications can be obtained by going to the website, sos.georgia.gov/elections/elections/voter_information/absentee_ballot_app.pdf . You can fill the application form out and fax it to 404-298-4038. The County Elections Office is very efficient about processing these and you will typically receive your ballot in the mail within three days.
Finally, a little food for thought. In the election in March of this year, voters in DeKalb County approved an E-SLOST (Special Local Option Sales Tax for Education). This vote committed DeKalb County taxpayers to fund the DeKalb County School System to the tune of two-thirds of a billion additional dollars over the next few years. The actual number of DeKalb residents who voted in the March election was 6 percent. If you think your vote is unimportant, think about the 94 percent of DeKalb residents who will be paying the hundreds of millions of dollars in additional taxes without ever having voted on the issue.
State Rep. Tom Taylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.