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6,522 Votes Cast in SPLOST Election

Both sides continue to rally citizens for Tuesday's balloting.

Cobb County’s SPLOST special election set for Tuesday has drawn 6,522 votes so far, according to numbers the county released Friday evening.

The 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is the only item on the ballot. If the SPLOST passes, it will kick in Jan. 1, 2012, for four years and keep the overall sales tax in Cobb at 6 cents per dollar. If the referendum fails, the expiration of the current SPLOST Dec. 31 will result in a total sales tax of 5 percent in the county next year.

Cobb projects that the 1-cent tax will produce $492 million over four years to pay for capital improvements across the county, including transportation and parks.

Kennesaw would receive about $22.1 million for municipal projects, in addition to nearby county road projects. The major projects that would directly affect Kennesaw include:

  • Operational improvements to Pine Mountain Road, including curb, gutter, sidewalk (both sides), turn lane, bridge replacement, upgrade to the Smith-Gilbert Garden entrance (accel/decel lanes, stormwater improvements, new exit), and an intersection upgrade and signal at Shilling/Ellis Road. The total cost would be $6.49 million.
  • Intersection improvements to Cherokee Street, including 10 side streets, at a cost of $5 million.
  • Regional concrete outdoor skating facility to include street skating and transition skating areas with multiple bowls at Swift-Cantrell Park at a cost of $750,000
  • Smith-Gilbert Gardens Event Building, a multipurpose facility to be used for weddings, receptions, meetings, parties, programs and other events, at a cost of $1.8 million.
  • Depot Park improvements, including an amphitheater and large plaza,
    for a cost of $2.1 million.
  • Swift-Cantrell Park improvements, include parking, landscaping, irrigation and a maintenance building, at a cost of $650,00.

The county sent out an additional 220 vote-by-mail ballots, which are due at the Lawrence Street post office by 5 p.m. Tuesday or the Board of Elections by 7 p.m. Tuesday to count. Given that the September 2005 SPLOST referendum passed by 114 votes out of some 40,000 cast, those remaining mail ballots could be important.

The early votes represent about 1.7 percent of Cobb’s 392,589 active registered voters, county spokesman Robert Quigley reported.

More than 214,000 people voted in Cobb County in the general election Nov. 2; fewer than 23,000 returned for the runoff four weeks later for three judicial races.

SPLOST supporters and opponents, Feb. 23, continue to push for every vote. After the weather dampened turnout for demonstrations last weekend, both sides plan to try again under sunny skies Sunday.

On the opposition side, the Cobb County Taxpayers Association, the Georgia Tea Party, the Cobb Libertarian Party and Americans for Prosperity are sponsoring a Rock the SPLOST rally from 1 to 2 p.m. at Glover Park in Marietta Square, including music by bluegrass band Out of the Blue.

On the support side, the Marietta Daily Journal reports that Citizens for Cobb’s Future will hold its Family Fun Day at Marietta Square from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

No early voting is allowed Monday. Polls Tuesday will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You can check your voter registration status and polling place at Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s website. Cobb offers maps of the polling places here.

Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said that tabulating the votes Tuesday will take the same amount of time with the one-issue election as with a full ballot because her office has to get the reports from the same number of polling places, all of which are using electronic machines. The results will be available on the county government website and on Cobb Channel 23 on Comcast cable television.

In addition to further reports in the next couple of days, Patch will have continuing coverage of the voting on Election Day.

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