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What voters need to know ahead of Tuesday’s election
ballot

After advance voting wrapped up on Friday, Oct. 29, election day will be the last chance for voters to cast ballots for the Nov. 2 elections in Cumming and Forsyth County.

On Tuesday, voters will have to report to their designated poll to vote in the city’s mayoral election and a referendum on whether to continue a special purpose local option sales tax for education, or E-SPLOST, a 1% sales tax for Forsyth County Schools. While only residents of the city of Cumming can vote in the mayoral race, all registered voters in the county can vote on the E-SPLOST.

Results from the election will run in the Nov. 6-7 edition of the Forsyth County News and will be available on election night at Forsythnews.com.

Below is information for voters to keep in mind ahead of election day.

When & where to vote

Unlike advance voting, when voters could cast ballots at any precinct, on Tuesday, voters will need to report to their precinct on Tuesday. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and anyone in line by the time polls close will be allowed to vote.

A photo ID is also required to vote, and a Georgia driver’s license, state or U.S. ID card with photo, a U.S. passport, a valid government employee photo ID, a valid U.S. military ID card with a photo or a valid tribal ID card with photo.

First-time voters who registered by mail without providing a photo ID will also need to provide a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter.

Voters in the Polo and Sawnee precincts should note that their voting places have changed for this year’s election, with Polo voters going to Fowler Park and Sawnee voters at Greater Heights Baptist Church.

Sample ballots, voter registration information and election day polling places can be found at mvp.sos.ga.gov.

To receive additional election information, visit forsythco.com.

Election day precincts are:

01 BIG CREEK- First Redeemer Church, 2100 Peachtree Parkway Cumming 30041

02 BRANDYWINE- Calvary Chapel, 200 James Road Alpharetta 30004

 03 BROWNS BRIDGE- Central Park Recreation Center, 2300 Keith Bridge Road Cumming 30040

04 CHESTATEE- Atlanta Cricket Fields, 5395 Keith Bridge Road Cumming 30041

05 COAL MOUNTAIN- Coal Mountain Park Community Building, 3560 Settingdown Road Cumming 30028

06 CROSSROADS- Hampton Park Library, 5345 Settingdown Road Cumming 30041

07 CUMMING- Cumming City Hall, 100 Main Street Cumming 30040

08 MASHBURN- Lanier United Methodist Church, 1979 Buford Highway Cumming 30041

10 MIDWAY- Midway Park Community Building, 5100 Post Road Cumming 30040

13 ABSENTEE- Forsyth County Voter Registrations & Elections Office, 1201 Sawnee Drive Cumming 30040

15 HEARDSVILLE- Sawnee Mountain Park Community Building, 3995 Watson Road Cumming 30028

16 OTWELL- First Baptist Cumming, 1597 Sawnee Drive Cumming 30040

19 OLD ATLANTA- Olde Atlanta Clubhouse, 5745 Olde Atlanta Parkway Suwanee 30024

21 SOUTH FORSYTH- Sharon Springs Park Community Building, 1950 Sharon Road Cumming 30041

25 WINDERMERE- Windermere Lodge, 4444 Front Nine Drive Cumming 30041

27 CONCORD- Concord Baptist Church 6905 Concord Road Cumming 30028

29 POLO- Fowler Park Recreation Center, 4110 Carolene Way Cumming 30040

34 FOWLER- Fowler Park Recreation Center, 4110 Carolene Way Cumming 30040

35 JOHNS CREEK- Johns Creek Baptist Church 6910 McGinnis Ferry Road Alpharetta 30005

36 NICHOLS- Old Atlanta Park Recreation Center 810 Nichols Road Suwanee 30024

37 SAWNEE- Greater Heights Baptist Church, 3790 Post Road Cumming 30040

Mayoral Race

While three seats in the city of Cumming are up for election, only the mayoral race drew a challenger.

Incumbent Mayor Troy Brumbalow, who was elected in 2017, and challenger William Stone, III will face off for the mayoral race.

Brumbalow, who is seeking a second term, is a business owner and 1990 graduate of South Forsyth High School and has touted the soon-to-open Cumming City Center, the city's financial status and the revitalization of the Cumming Police Department as successes in his first term.

Stone, a tax attorney and a 2006 Forsyth Central High School graduate, has cited growth in the city as well as spending by city officials as key issues for his campaign. After attending Central, Stone graduated from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, Georgia State College of Law and received an LLM in Taxation from the University of Florida's Levin School of Law.

Cumming City Councilmen Jason Evans and Chad Crane, who were also elected in 2017, did not draw challengers for their seats.

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E-SPLOST

The countywide special election is a referendum for a proposed Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or E-SPLOST. The resolution asks that the community reimpose the 1% sales tax on purchases to pay for capital projects within Forsyth County Schools.

Voters in the county have approved five other E-SPLOST referendums in the past, the most recent being in 2016. With E-SPLOST V ending in June 2022, the new referendum for E-SPLOST VI gives voters the chance to continue with the sales tax for the next five years.

E-SPLOST is used to pay for capital projects within Forsyth County Schools. This is unlike SPLOST collected by the county or city, which is used for projects such as traffic lights, roads and more.

A new elementary school to serve as a replacement for Midway Elementary is among the list of capital projects. The school has faced overcrowding issues for several years due to a small student capacity, and because of its location near Highway 9, the school cannot be expanded.

Planned for a lot near Denmark High School, the replacement school is expected to cost $38 million for the building and furniture.

Aside from the Midway replacement, most of the other projects include upgrades, repairs and refreshers for older schools and equipment in the district. This includes furniture, technology, facilities and other supplies that need to be repaired or replaced in district schools and buildings.

The overall total cost of these projects is projected to be more than $264.7 million.

The E-SPLOST, if approved, would also be used to pay $50,000 in bond payments taken out after voters approved the school district’s latest bond in 2018, which helped to fund the new facilities and schools opening for the school year starting in August such as East Forsyth High and Hendricks Middle schools.

When voters approved of the bond in 2018, they also agreed to pay the remaining $50,000 in bond payments out of E-SPLOST VI. If it is not approved, school officials said property taxes may need to be reevaluated to cover the costs of the projects, many of which are nearly completed.

 

Who has already voted?

Ahead of Election Day, thousands of Forsyth County residents have already cast ballots during in-person and mail-in advance voting.

As of Thursday, Oct. 28, more than 3,600 had cast ballots during early voting, according to information available on the Forsyth County Department of Voter Registrations and Elections website.

During the last mayoral election in 2017, which included a special election to fill the unexpired term of then-District 26 House Rep. Geoff Duncan, who had stepped down to run for lieutenant governor, 954 voters, about 36% of the city’s 2,680 voters registered at the time, cast ballots compared to 3,207, about 8% of the district’s nearly 40,000 voters, for the state House race.

In 2016, the last time E-SPLOST was approved 63.35% of county residents, about 59,450 voters, were voted to approve the bond compared to 36.7%, about 34,500 votes, against. Nearly 94,000 county residents voted at the time, though presidential, Senate and Congress races were also on the ballot.

Before that, the next most recent E-SPLOST vote was in March 2011, when it was the only question on the ballot.

During that election, about 6,700 voters cast ballots. Of those, 5,337, about 80% were in favor, compared to 1,339, about 20%, opposed.