Is T-SPLOST behind high early voter turnout?

10:16 AM, Jul 25, 2012   |    comments
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Video: TSPLOST issue sparking big early turnouts

Voting signs reference two elections in Henry County.

ATLANTA -- With three days left for early voting, turnouts are up and unofficially, voting officials say it's the T-SPLOST that is bringing people out.

In DeKalb County, officials said 3,000 more voters have cast advance ballots this year than they did in the 2010 primary. In Forsyth, turnout is 505 higher than two years ago, while in Cherokee voting is up by more than 1,500.

In Fulton County, 8,500 people have already voted, while in Gwinnett it's over 3,000. In Cobb, voting officials says turnout is on the rise and will surpass 2010.

Alan Abramowitz is a political science professor and election analyst with Emory University. He says the high turnout can be attributed directly to the transportation referendum.

"If the T-SPLOST wasn't coming up, I don't think you'd be seeing a very high level of interest," he said. "Any time you have a vote on a tax increase, that's going to generate some interest."

He added that media coverage and advertising has also brought more voters to the polls. 

Voting hours vary from county to county, with some polls opening as early as 7 a.m., and closing as late as 7 p.m.

When voters arrive at the polling place, there will be a choice of a Democratic, Republican or non-partisan ballot, with each having the T-SPLOST question on it.

For more information, visit our early voting resource page.

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