E-SPLOST, T-SPLOST, county liquor stores and 2 commission seats decided on Tuesday

On Tuesday, voters lining up at Bulloch County’s 16 polling places will finish deciding two referendums on local sales taxes and one on liquor stores, as well as two contests for seats on the county’s Board of Commissioners. .

Of course, local voters are also doing their part in contests for governor and several other statewide races, as well as a U.S. Senate race that’s garnering national attention. More than 25% of Bulloch County’s 50,043 registered voters voted early in person in the previous three weeks or returned mail-in ballots.

For the rest, polling stations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the constituency assigned to each voter.

Bulloch County Elections Supervisor Shontay Jones is not predicting how soon the votes will all be counted after the polls close.

“No, I hope it’s early so I can get out of here at a reasonable time for everyone involved,” she said. “But at the end of the day, we just want to be able to have an election where everything we’ve done is right. So I don’t have a prediction.

E-SPLOST

Last summer, the Board of Education and the County Board of Commissioners acted separately to ask questions about the five-year extensions of two 1% special purpose local option sales taxes, the SPLOST for education and SPLOST for transportation, on the ballot.

E-SPLOST funds capital expenditures for Bulloch County schools, such as the construction of schools and athletic facilities and the purchase of school buses, technology and safety equipment. In fact, this tax was first approved by voters in 2003, and extensions were approved by substantial majorities in 2005, 2009, and 2017. The previous four installments of the tax, including the current E- SPLOST 4, have grossed about $218 million, Hayley Greene, director of public relations for Bulloch County Schools, reported in an October news release.

Renewing now would prevent a lapse and keep the tax in effect. The construction of a new Southeast Bulloch High School, to allow the current SEB High School to be converted into a middle school and accommodate more students in the southeastern part of the county, is the major project proposed for the next phase. of E-SPLOST.

T-SPLOST

Meanwhile, the Transportation SPLOST, first approved by a majority of Bulloch County voters in May 2018, is set for its first renewal proposal, also for five years. It also faced an early expiration due to a $60 million revenue cap.

The county government and the cities of Statesboro, Brooklet, Portal and Register are all receiving shares, which are now expected to reach $72 million over the next five years, if approved. These revenues fund street and road improvements and maintenance, projects at the airport through the county’s and Statesboro’s planned small bus transit system, and equipment purchases at same purposes.

Also on the ballot is the county government’s proposal to allow liquor stores in unincorporated parts of the county. A majority of Statesboro voters allowed them within the city limits last year.

Commission races

All Bulloch voters had the opportunity to choose a member of the Board of Commissioners in a two-candidate, two-party race this fall.

In District 2, which encompasses about two-thirds of the county’s population, the race is between Democratic nominee Jake Hallman and Republican nominee Toby Conner for the 2-B seat. This is the seat currently held by Commissioner Walter Gibson, a Republican, who did not seek re-election and will step down from the council in December.

Hallman was unopposed for his party’s nomination in the May 24 primary. Conner initially placed second in a tightly divided three-candidate Republican primary, but then won a June 21 runoff to be the party’s nominee.

Voters in District 1, the majority-minority district encompassing about a third of the county’s population, must choose between incumbent Democrat Anthony Simmons and Republican challenger Preston Tutt III for the 1-B seat.

Early attendance

During the 17 days of early voting in Bulloch County, 11,344 voters voted in person with the electronic system. Also, by Monday afternoon, 1,215 no-excuse paper mail-in ballots, plus 21 of electronic or paper mail-in ballots authorized for military and U.S. citizens overseas, had been returned to the Elections Office. .

Thus, 12,580 voters, or 25% of the total 50,043 registered voters, had already voted. Georgia election officials typically base turnout reports on the number of active-roll voters, which in Bulloch County was 44,927 heading into this election. On this basis, the anticipated participation would be 28%.

Regular paper ballots already cast may be counted if returned to the electoral office before the polls close at 7:00 p.m.

Voters can find specific information about their registration, polling location, and sample ballot online at https://mvp.sos.ga.gov/s/.

Voters heading to the polls should remember that a Georgian driver’s license or voter or college student card or other valid federal or state government-issued identification or ID acceptable photo ID is required.

Aurora J. William