Penny tax is needed for roads, bridges and much more

Election day is next Tuesday, but voters who wish to cast their ballots early in the presidential preference primary and the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum have until 5 p.m. this Friday to vote early.
A unique one day of Saturday voting was held on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., but only 28 voters took advantage of the weekend voting.
Registrar Lizzie Garrette says for the first time it was not bad, and those who voted appreciated the weekend voting opportunity.
“I would rather have seen a larger turn out, but maybe next time,” Ms. Garrette said.
As of late Tuesday, only 308 voters have cast ballots. Of those 28 cast Democratic tickets, 279 cast Republican tickets, and one voter chose to vote a nonpartisan ticket and vote only on the SPLOST.
Election officials say that voting is picking up as the election day nears. By 4 p.m. Tuesday, 45 people had voted for the day, which is about twice the daily average for the first two weeks of early voting.
Grady County commissioners and the city councils of the cities of Cairo and Whigham are seeking a renewal of the one cent sales tax to generate approximately $18 million over the six-year life of the tax.
Officials will use the money for road and bridge repairs, construction of sidewalks, utility infrastructure improvements, purchase of new public safety and public works equipment, as well as long-term debt reduction.
The board of directors of the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce came out strong in favor of the passage of the SPLOST.
Board members voted unanimously Monday to endorse the six year one cent sales tax.
In addition to the vote on the tax, voters have the opportunity to select the Republican presidential candidate. President Barack Obama is the only name on the Democratic presidential primary ballot.
The county’s 13 polling places will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. next Tuesday, March 6.
Election officials are encouraging all registered voters to exercise their right to vote in the March 6 primary election.
Early voting is taking place at the Grady County Courthouse on the first floor. Vote now through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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