Archive for July, 2012

T-SPLOST takes a beating

T-SPLOST looked headed for defeat Tuesday night.

With 67 percent of precincts reporting, 64 percent of metro Atlanta voters said no to a proposed 1 percent sales tax for a list of transportation projects. Only 36 percent of voters in the 10-county Atlanta region supported the measure. Check updated results here.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told the gathered media at a local hotel, “I’m here tonight to stick out my chin and take the loss.”

He thanked the Atlanta business community and labor and environmental groups that supported T-SPLOST.

He also discussed what could come next.

“What we need is a bigger table … and get at why a lot of good women and men don’t trust their government enough to solve a big problem,” he said.

He’s hoping for a solution to the region’s transportation problems.

“We’re going to need the politics of cooperation if we’re going to meet these big challenges,” he said.

Continue reading T-SPLOST takes a beating »

Wrong ballots in Gwinnett precinct

Nearly 100 voters in one Gwinnett County precinct got the wrong ballots for a state House race.

Communications Director Joe Sorenson said the wrong ballots were cast during early voting in Precinct 137 near Buford. The wrong ballots affected only one race in the precinct, the Republican Primary for the newly created House District 103, which pits Timothy Barr against Ken Russell.

Sorenson attributed the mistake to a human error in the county elections office – the precinct was not drawn into the new House district. He said county and state officials worked over the weekend to correct the mistake and ensure that ballots cast Tuesday were correct.

Sorenson did not know what would happen to the 98 improper votes cast in the District 103 race.

Continue reading Wrong ballots in Gwinnett precinct »

Polls close, ballot counting begins

The voters have had their say, and soon we’ll find out the results of today’s election. Polls closed at 7 p.m.

What’s the outcome of the historic T-SPLOST initiative — the penny sales tax referendum on transportation issues in metro Atlanta? Voters also decided on representatives for this fall’s legislative races.

Check out complete coverage on AJC.com.

Wednesday’s AJC also will have more coverage and analysis.

Also watch the AJC mobile and  iPad apps for post-election updates.

Continue reading Polls close, ballot counting begins »

DeKalb urges voters to return to precinct

DeKalb County elections officials are urging voters who could not find parking at Mount Carmel Christian Church in Stone Mountain to return to cast ballots before the polls close at 7 p.m.

The county’s Board of Registration and Elections said voters experienced some parking inconveniences at the Smokerise precinct at the church, 6015 Old Stone Mountain Road, because of another unrelated event.

“The parking issues have been corrected,” the county said in a statement.

Some voters in Cherokee County also encountered parking inconveniences at Woodstock First Baptist Church on Highway 92 after another event at the church precinct coincided with the election.

Cherokee elections chief Janet Munda, however, said there “was plenty of parking” at the church Tuesday afternoon, even if some of the spaces were not close to the building. “People may have to walk a bit,” Munda said.

Continue reading DeKalb urges voters to return to precinct »

Voter turnout appears to be ’steady’

A spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office says voter turnout “seems to be steady.”

Spokesman Jared Thomas would not provide any estimates on how many people are expected to cast ballots before polls close at 7 p.m., or where turnout was heaviest. According to the agency, Georgia has 5.8 million registered voters.

Thomas said the Secretary of State’s office is fielding calls about problems, though he would not provide specifics. “Every election day we get calls,” he said. “We do have a team spread out across the state to physically investigate.”

Thomas says the agency has set up a large call center to field calls at 404-656-2871.

Continue reading Voter turnout appears to be ’steady’ »

Precinct card problems confirmed in districts 58, 59

Updated 5 p.m.: This is a statement from Fulton County elections officials on problems in state House Districts 58 and 59:

During the course of today’s election, the Department of Registration & Elections became aware of a database error affecting approximately 300 registered voters on ten streets in Precinct 05A1/05A2 in Southeast Atlanta.

This issue affected only the State House races for a small portion of House Districts 58 and 59. No other races were affected by this issue.

After reviewing the situation, those voters impacted who have not yet voted are now able to cast their ballot on the touch screen voting machine. A senior elections official has been onsite to address voter concerns.

On Wednesday morning, the Department of Registration and Elections will begin investigating what remedial actions may need to be taken for voters impacted by this situation who already cast their ballots.

Update 4:45 p.m.: The Secretary of State’s office now confirms “significant issues” …

Continue reading Precinct card problems confirmed in districts 58, 59 »

Paper ballots temporarily used at Midtown precinct

Fulton County voters casting ballots at Crosby Spears Towers on North Avenue in Midtown had to use paper ballots temporarily after the polls opened.

County elections chief Dwight Brower told the AJC electronic voting was disrupted due to a malfunction that lasted about 40 minutes. During that time,  poll workers issued paper ballots. No further problems were reported after electronic voting was restored, Brower said.

Continue reading Paper ballots temporarily used at Midtown precinct »

Mayor Reed, Sen. Fort face off at V-103 on T-SPLOST

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and state Sen. Vincent Fort took to the airwaves Tuesday morning for a last-minute debate of the pros and cons of the proposed T-SPLOST.

Fort, who was has been an outspoken critic of the transportation referendum, said on V-103 radio that the tax “doesn’t pass the fairness test. A billionaire pays the same rate as Grandmama on a fixed income. That’s not fair.”

Fort claimed that if the measure passes, citizens of counties already paying a 1 percent MARTA tax “are going to be double-taxed.”

Reed pointed out that Fort voted for the bill in the state Senate. “He voted to put it on the ballot,” the mayor said.

The mayor was also quick to point out that civil rights icons Joseph Lowery, Andrew Young and John Lewis are all in favor of T-SPLOST.

“Surely, these people who stood on the front line for freedom to even allow you and I to sit in this studio, if they made a decision to support it, how in the world can folks be on the other side, saying that this is …

Continue reading Mayor Reed, Sen. Fort face off at V-103 on T-SPLOST »

T-SPLOST high on the minds of voters

The proposed 1 percent sales tax to fund $7.2 billion worth of road, rail and bus projects was high on the minds of voters Tuesday as metro Atlantans went to the polls.

Elizabeth Nelson, a DeKalb County tax attorney who recently moved to Brookhaven, said she voted to support the T-SPLOST.

“I only drive about four miles to work every day, and it’s a nightmare,” said Nelson, who was voting in the Ashford Park section of Brookhaven. “Knowing that the population of Atlanta is increasing rapidly, I think that we need to get better infrastructure to make businesses come here and also to make the commutes better for all of us.”

Rich Mayk of Brookhaven also said the transportation referendum lured him to the polls. “Living in Atlanta, working downtown, I definitely experience the traffic situation,” said Mayk, who moved to the area from Detroit six years ago. “I feel like an investment in improving the traffic situation is needed.”

Lucius Gundy, 61, of Stone Mountain, however, sided …

Continue reading T-SPLOST high on the minds of voters »

Voters deciding T-SPLOST, primary candidates today

Today’s the day!

After months of campaigning for everything from a historic penny sales tax referendum aimed at addressing transportation and quality of life issues in the 10-county metro region to who should represent them in local, state and U.S. legislative races in the fall, voters go to the polls today to cast their ballots.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 7 p.m. You may need your umbrella at some point. Channel 2 Action News meteorologists are expecting a 60 percent chance of showers and possible thunderstorms today, with a high reaching 89 degrees and a low of around 73 degrees after the polls close and the results start pouring in – possibly with the rain.

Check your voter registration card to make sure you vote at the right location. If you don’t have the card that was mailed to you in recent months, visit the Secretary of State’s website or contact your county’s Board of Registrars.

Before voting, you must provide an approved form of photo …

Continue reading Voters deciding T-SPLOST, primary candidates today »