Early voting begins Monday in Coweta for July 31 electionsBy SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
The July 31 general primary and special election is just three weeks away, and early voting starts Monday.
All registered Coweta voters are eligible to participate in early voting, which is held at the Coweta Voter Registration Office in the County Administration Building at 22 East Broad Street in downtown Newnan.
Early voting also will be held on Saturdays. The office will be open from 9 a.m.-noon on July 14, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on July 21.
Though there are only three contested local elections, voters will have many decisions to make in this election.
The biggest is whether to increase the sales tax rate in Coweta from 7 percent to 8 percent to pay for a regional list of transportation projects. Voters in Coweta and the other nine counties in the Three Rivers Regional Commission will decide whether to approve the sales tax, commonly referred to as the TSPLOST, or Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
Whether the tax is approved will be based on the vote in the entire region. The other counties in the Three Rivers region are Carroll, Heard, Troup, Meriwether, Pike, Spading, Lamar, Butts, and Upson.
Another major issue of local interest is Sunday alcohol sales. Voters will decide whether stores in unincorporated Coweta can sell package beer and wine on Sundays, and whether restaurants can serve alcoholic drinks on Sundays.
Voters in Grantville will also be voting on Sunday package and by-the-drink sales, as well as whether to allow restaurants to serve distilled sprit beverages.
Moreland voters will decide whether to lengthen council terms from two to four years to remedy a conflict with federal election laws.
TSPLOST and alcohol questions will be on the Republican, Democratic and non-partisan ballots. Non-partisan questions on all three ballots include a contested race for a seat on the Coweta Superior Court bench and a long list of unopposed judges and school board members.
Those who choose a Republican ballot will also vote on U.S. Congress District 3, Georgia House District 71 and two seats on the Georgia Public Service Commission.
Several ballot questions appear on both the Republican and Democratic ballots. The non-binding questions are essentially opinion polls placed on the ballots by parties.
Georgia has an “open primary,” which means voters can freely choose a Democratic, Republican or non-partisan ballots.
Because there are so many issues on the ballot, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the ballot before going to vote, said Coweta Elections Superintendent Jane Scoggins.
“It is a long ballot,” she said. “It takes a little while to go through,” she said.
Scoggins also encourages Cowetans to take a careful look at their voter registration cards. All registered voters should have received new cards.
A few voters will be voting at a different precinct.
Many will see their districts, including state House, county commission and school board, change because of redistricting.
Scoggins recommended voters – whether choosing to vote early or on July 31 – make certain everything is correct before touching the “cast ballot” button.
“If you think you’ve gotten the wrong ballot, say something before you cast the ballot,” Scoggins said.
“Once that ballot is cast, even if you got the wrong ballot – whether it was your mistake or the poll worker’s mistake – there is nothing they can do about it,” she added.
For more information about early voting, contact the Coweta Voter Registration Office at 770-254-2615 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
For district information or a custom sample ballot, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at www.sos.georgia.gov/mvp .