Advance voting begins Monday for ESPLOST renewal

Published 4:24 pm Thursday, February 23, 2017

Advance in-person voting for the Decatur County Board of Education’s called special election for its renewal of the one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for education-related capital projects begins on Monday, Feb. 27.

Advance voting continues through Friday, March 17, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every weekday; and on Saturday, March 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Locations for advance voting are the Fairgrounds, located at 1211 Vada Road in Bainbridge and the Courthouse Annex, located at 122 W. Water St., which is across the street from the Firehouse Center and Gallery.

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Advance in-person voting allows voters more flexibility and allows them to vote without having to go to their specific precinct.

However, on Tuesday, March 21, all nine of Decatur County’s voting precincts will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and voters must go to the precinct in which they are assigned. If you have questions about which precinct you are registered to vote in, please go to the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at, or call the Elections Office at 229-243-2087.

If you would like to have a mail-in absentee ballot sent to you, you must first request it. An application for an absentee ballot is available online at My Voter Page or on the Elections Office webpage at the Decatur County Board of Commissioners website. You may also call the office and request an application be mailed to you.

The language on the ballot is below:

“Shall a special 1 percent sales and use tax for education be reimposed in the Decatur County School District for a period of time not to exceed 20 calendar quarters for the raising of not more than $30,000,000 for the purpose of (a) paying debt service on the Decatur County School Building Authority Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2015 commencing on October 1, 2017 through October 1, 2022 and (b) funding the following capital outlay projects: (i) acquiring, constructing, repairing, improving, rehabilitating, renovating, extending, retrofitting, upgrading, and equipping buildings and facilities in the Decatur County School District useful or desirable in connection therewith, including any necessary property therefore, both real and personal, to include HVAC upgrades, new roof systems, security, safety and communication upgrades, parking and sidewalk renovations and upgrades including renovating and equipping West Bainbridge Middle School for administrative services; (ii) planning for new School District site acquisition, site development and construction; (iii) purchase and installation of technology devices (to include computers, servers, printers, projectors, cabling, wireless access points, and Voice Over IP); (iv) acquiring and installing systemwide software to support instructional initiatives and improvements, finance, safety and operations; (v) purchase and installation of school nutrition equipment; (vi) acquisition of school buses, transportation and maintenance vehicles and equipment; (vii) acquisition of textbooks, ebooks, digital media and library books; (viii) acquisition of band/music, fine arts, vocational, and physical education/athletic equipment; (ix) demolition of existing facilities; (x) acquiring and installing all other necessary property therefore, both real and personal (the “Projects”); (xi) paying capitalized interest; and (xii) paying expenses incident to accomplishing the foregoing at a maximum cost of $30,000,000?

“If imposition of the tax is approved by the voters, such vote shall also constitute approval of the issuance of general obligation debt of the Decatur County School District in the principal amount of up to $10,000,000, repayable from the proceeds of the aforesaid sales and use tax, for the purpose of funding such portions of the Projects as may be acquired, constructed and equipped with the proceeds of general obligation debt.”