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Unofficial Results: SPLOST Passes by 79 Votes

Check in with Kennesaw Patch for election coverage throughout the day.

Updated 11 p.m.

All 153 precincts are in, with unofficial results showing 21,525 of 42,971 voters said "yes" to SPLOST. That's a difference of only 79 votes, with a margin of 0.18 percentage point.

The Cobb elections website reports that all votes have been counted from all Election Day polling locations, as well as early, advanced and absentee ballots. However, results remain unofficial.

As questions arose during the night about recounts of the paper absentee ballots and recanvasses of the electronic votes, Cobb County officials didn’t have the answers yet.

The “current goal is getting an accurate count of the votes cast,” county spokesman Robert Quigley said in an e-mail at 9:50 p.m. “We will focus on the next steps once we complete the task at hand.”

Quigley said the elections board’s attorney should be able to provide answers Wednesday about what happens next.

The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax would extend collection of the current penny sales tax through 2015 and generate an estimated $492 million for countywide transportation and facilities improvements, including public safety, parks and recreation and libraries.

Cobb County Election Results

153 of 153 precincts reporting Yes No Should Cobb County collect a 1 percent SPLOST for capital projects from Jan. 1, 2012, to Dec. 31, 2015? 21525 21446 Percentage 50.09% 49.91%

Unofficial results from the Cobb County Board of Elections & Registration as of 10:40 p.m.

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Coverage from the polls earlier in the day:

Cobb County Board of Elections & Registration Director Janine Eveler said this morning's rain might have scared off a few voters in today's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendum.

As of 10 a.m., the voter turnout rate showed that 10 percent of Cobb's 392,589 active registered voters were on track to go to the polls by tonight's 7 p.m. deadline.

"Things are a little slow, but they’re going well," said Eveler, adding that more voters might trickle in after work.

Frank Cullins, a former Kennesaw councilman, said he was going to vote against the sales tax after grabbing lunch at Nibbles in Acworth.

"We're taxed enough as it is," he said, "we don't need to continue on with it."

As of 2 p.m., 99 of 2,285 voters in the Big Shanty 01 precinct had showed up to , according to polling location manager Bob Boyette.

Lunchtime totals for NorthStar Church were 73 voters, while Acworth Elementary had 25 voters. In Marietta, Smitha Middle School reported 53 voters at roughly 2:20 p.m.

The Cobb Civic Center, a precinct with more than 2,500 voters, had four show up within the first 100 minutes of voting today.

"Wish there were more people voting than people waiting for people to vote," said poll location manager Keith Johnson. "But our heaviest times are usually at lunch time and after work, especially between 4 and 7."

The proposed four-year SPLOST would extend collection of the current penny sales tax through 2015 and generate an estimated $492 million for countywide transportation and facilities improvements, including public safety, parks and recreation and libraries. 

An estimated $22.11 million would go to the city of Kennesaw. Just some of the major include $6.4 million worth of operational improvements to Pine Mountain Road, intersection improvements to Cherokee Street at a cost of $5 million, Depot Park improvements including an amphitheater and large plaza for a cost of $2.1 million and $750,000 toward a new skate park in Swift-Cantrell Park.

The Cobb Board of Elections & Registration said over the weekend that 6,522 Cobb citizens took part in that ended Friday.

Proponents say the SPLOST will ensure that Cobb County continues to be competitive when seeking businesses to locate in the area and that it will keep millage rates low and improve infrastructure. Opponents say the list of projects is more of a “want” list than a “need” list and that the county needs to take a more conservative look at the current budget.

Groups supporting and opposed to the SPLOST extension during a forum in February and held at Marietta Square on Sunday. We also published op-eds by Kennesaw Business Association President John Loud, who provided a the SPLOST, and Georgia Tea Party member Susan Stanton, who sounded off .

Here's more information on the SPLOST project list, as well as the positions of the leading groups supporting and opposed to the sales tax extension: 

Official Cobb SPLOST site: cobbsplost2011.org

Citizens for Cobb's Future (pro-SPLOST): cobbsfuture.org

Vote No March 15 (anti-SPLOST): http://votenomarch15.com

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and you need one of six approved forms of identification to vote. The below chart shows polling places in Kennesaw, while a PDF attached to this article includes other polling places near the city. You can also check your voter registration status and polling place at Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s website.

Kennesaw Patch will be providing continuing coverage throughout the day and will update the final numbers when the results are tabulated later tonight.

KENNESAW VOTING PRECINCTS (ZIP Codes 30152, 30144)

PRECINCT LOCATION BIG SHANTY 01 KENNESAW UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 1801 BEN KING ROAD BIG SHANTY 02 TOWNE VIEW BAPTIST CHURCH, 1115 SHILOH ROAD CHALKER 01 COMMUNITY BIBLE CHURCH, 200 CHASTAIN ROAD HARRISON 01 HARRISON HIGH SCHOOL, 4500 DUE WEST ROAD HAYES 01 HAYES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 1501 KENNESAW DUE WEST ROAD KENNESAW 1A SARDIS MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, 2741 S. MAIN STREET, NW KENNESAW 2A MARTHA MOORE EDUCATION CENTER, 6997 KEENE STREET KENNESAW 2B KENNESAW MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL, 1898 KENNESAW DUE WEST ROAD KENNESAW 3A BEN ROBERTSON COMMUNITY CENTER, 2753 WATTS DRIVE KENNESAW 4A KENNESAW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 3155 JILES ROAD KENNESAW 5A NEW BEGINNINGS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 2925 MACK DOBBS ROAD KENNESAW 5B LEGACY PARK CLUBHOUSE, 4201 LEGACY PARK CIRCLE LOST MOUNTAIN 02 LOST MOUNTAIN MIDDLE SCHOOL, 700 OLD MOUNTAIN ROAD LEWIS 01

LEWIS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 4179 JIM OWENS ROAD

MCCLURE 01

MCCLURE MIDDLE SCHOOL, 3660 OLD STILESBORO ROAD

MARS HILL 02

LIVING HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH, 3450 STILESBORO ROAD

NORTH COBB 01 COBB VINEYARD CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, 3206 OLD HIGHWAY 41 PINE MOUNTAIN 01 HAYES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 1501 KENNESAW DUE WEST ROAD PALMER 01 PALMER MIDDLE SCHOOL, 690 NORTH BOOTH ROAD MARIETTA 4C MURRAY ARTS CENTER AT MOUNT PARAN CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, 2250 STILESBORO ROAD RED ROCK 01 WESTERN HILLS BAPTIST CHURCH, 700 MARS HILL ROAD WADE GREEN 02 CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 1210 WOOTEN LAKE ROAD

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