It was just before 10 p.m. Tuesday before unofficial results were tallied to show that the majority of Grady County voters favored the renewal of a penny sales tax for roads and bridges, sidewalks, public safety and public works equipment and debt service on long-term debt. The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is projected to generate about $18 million in tax revenue over the six-year life of the tax.
The unofficial election results are 1,993 voting yes and 1,436 voting no with just over 25 percent of the county’s registered voters casting ballots.
Ironically, in the Lime Sink precinct voters were split over the SPLOST with 32 voting for and 32 against.
The only precincts where no votes outpaced yes votes were in Duncanville, 48 yes to 70 no, and Pine Park, 72 yes to 83 no. The unofficial results for the mailed in absentee ballots also favored killing the tax with 23 voting no and 21 yes.
Voters in the Whigham precinct were largely split over the tax with 107 voting in favor and 102 against.
Grady County Commission Chairman Elwyn Childs said he was pleased with the results when he was contacted by The Messenger late Tuesday.
“It’s the only way the county and the cities have been able to do any paving at all. We really need the SPLOST for roads and bridges,” the commission chairman said.
Poll managers from the county’s 13 polling places were somewhat slow to report in to the courthouse, but the real delay was caused by technical problems with the computer system in Election Superintendent Sadie Voyles’ office.
Voters in the Republican preference primary here favored Newt Gingrich slightly over Rick Santorum. Gingrich received 1089 votes and Santorum garnered 1033. A distant third was Mitt Romney with 599 followed by 123 for Ron Paul.
On the state level, Gingrich won the state followed by Romney with 26 percent of the statewide vote and Santorum with 20 percent.