Be aware where you vote: Mix of elections leads to split precincts for many

Be aware where you vote, or make it easy on yourself and vote early. This November 7, more so than your usual election day, you’ll want to be sure you know where to cast your ballot ahead of time. Because of the addition of the ESPLOST vote, roughly 12,500 eligible voters in the county will have to visit two locations to cast their ballots.

“We’re trying to get the word out because we know people are going to show up and wonder why they have to vote in two places,” said Fayette County Elections Supervisor Floyd Jones.

Typically odd-numbered years are reserved for municipal elections (mayor, city council, etc), and even-numbered years go to national, state, and county elections.

“There’s really nothing we can do about it because of the way the State of Georgia has it,” said Jones. “We have two elections happening at the same time because the Board of Education jumped in, and they’re county and they have the ESPLOST.”

While County-only residents will vote strictly on ESPLOST, city residents of Fayetteville, Peachtree City, and Tyrone will vote on both municipal races and the ESPLOST. Most of those will vote in one location, but with two lines and two sets of voting machines. For city residents living in split precincts, they will have to travel to two separate locations to vote on both ballots.

The easiest fix for those with a split precinct? Vote early.

“That is the answer,” said Voter Registration Officer Leigh Combs.

Advance in-person voting is ongoing through November 3 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Peachtree City Library, Tyrone Town Hall, and the public meeting room at the Fayette County Administrative Complex. You can also choose to vote via absentee ballot. If you choose to vote absentee, make sure you request both the ESPLOST and municipal ballots.

Fayette last had two elections at the same time in November 2013. Hopefully it won’t be an issue again anytime soon, as Jones noted that they are looking at consolidating precincts down from 36 to 19.

“If we go to 19, it’s going to eliminate almost all of these issues.”

To be sure where you vote, visit www.mvp.sos.ga.gov or call the Fayette County Board of Elections at 770-305-5408. You will also be able to access sample ballots. The state site only includes the ESPLOST question. The local office has all sample ballots and absentee ballot applications on its website www.fayettecountyga.gov/elections.

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About

Christopher Dunn has been the sports editor for Fayette Newspapers since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Game Day magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.


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