Election Day is still more than a month away, but absentee voters will have a chance to cast their ballot as soon as this week.
Forsyth County Elections Supervisor Barbara Luth said ballots for absentee voters were mailed out Friday.
“We have until Monday to get them out, but we [wanted] to get them all out on Friday,” Luth said.
In addition to local and state candidates, both the Democratic and Republican ballots include nonbinding party questions posed by the state parties.
The Democratic ballot asks if the state constitution should be amended to allow the state to override locally-elected school boards’ decisions when it comes to the creation of charter schools in the voter’s county or city.
Ballots for both parties include a question about ending the current practice allowing for unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators. However, the Republican question continues by asking if the practice should be capped at $100.
The Republican ballot also asks if Georgia should have casino gambling with funds going to education, if active duty military personnel under 21 years old should be allowed to obtain a state weapons license and if primary election voters should be required to register by their political party affiliation at least 30 days prior to the primary election.
“They’re nonbinding questions, so it just tells the parties how people feel,” Luth said. “You get some people that won’t answer questions, but they won’t even answer the referendum when they come in.”
The much anticipated referendum question — regarding a regional transportation sales tax — is also on the ballot. The question asks should the county’s transportation system “and the transportation network in this region and the state be improved by providing for a 1 percent special district transportation sales and use tax for the purpose of transportation projects and programs for a period of 10 years.”
In Forsyth, the transportation tax would include projects like widening Ga. 400 from McFarland to Hwy. 20, among several others. Luth said a complete list of projects that could be funded by the tax would be at each polling place.
She also noted the July 31 election is the first under the new redistricting maps.
“We went from a large District 9 and a small District 7 to a small District 9 and a large District 7, so everywhere in the county, people were moved around,” Luth said about the congressional representatives.
New district information was sent to every registered voter, Luth said. Information will also be provided to those who register by July 2, the deadline to register in order to participate in the July 31 election.
Early voting will begin July 9, and advance voting will run July 23 to 27. For more information, call (770) 781-2118 or visit www.forsythco.com.