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It’s Election Day. Go vote, folks

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It’s Election Day. Go vote, folks

Photo by Dena Mellick
Photo by Dena Mellick

Photo by Dena Mellick

It’s Election Day in America. Here’s what you need to know to cast your vote.

Polls open today, Nov. 8, at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

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People who wish to vote will need to bring one of the following forms of identification, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office:

– Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)

– A Georgia Driver’s License, even if expired

– Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state

– Valid U.S. passport ID

– Valid U.S. military photo ID

– Valid tribal photo ID

To see a sample ballot, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page by clicking here.

DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon provided this summary of some of the local issues that are on the ballot.

 – Amendment 1: State Intervention Through Opportunity School District

This amendment would allow the state to manage schools that have been deemed as failing, based upon their College and Career Ready Performance Index score. These schools would be shut  down or placed under a  statewide  opportunity district overseen by a governor-appointed Superintendent.

– Amendment 2: Funds For Services to Child Victim of Sex Trafficking

This amendment will allow for establishing a Safe Harbor Fund for rehabilitative and support services to sexually exploited children. Taxpayers would not contribute, but would use fines from convicted sex trafficker cases and annual fees from adult entertainment industries.

– Amendment 3: Judicial Qualifications Commission

This amendment will abolish the longstanding Judicial Qualifications Commission overseen by the judicial branch and give the authority to the general assembly.

– Amendment 4: Fireworks Tax Revenue

This amendment would support moving tax revenue from the sale of fireworks to trauma care, fire protection services and fire safety. 5% of the tax revenue would be allotted to local governments to support 911 services.

DeKalb County Special Elections

If you live in Super District 7 (the east half of the county) your special election comes next.  It is a very confusing selection.  First, there are 9 candidates listed  but Jerome Edmonson has already withdrawn but did not turn the proper information in to the Registrar, so his name remains on the ballot.  Second, with so many candidates for this position, there will be a run-off, so stay tuned.  Take the time to to learn who offers District 7 the most independent and informed opportunities.

DeKalb County Homestead Exemption  Act 264, House Bill 596

In 2015, the General Assembly passed legislation to call a referendum to extend the existing Homestead Property Tax Assessment Freeze (applicable only to County taxes) until 2022.  Voters wishing to extend  the Homestead Property Tax Assessment Freeze until 2022 should vote yes to approve the legislation.  Voters wishing to end the freeze at the end of 2016 should vote no.

The freeze maintains your property value at the level set when you elected to take the freeze.

For a more detailed explanation about this topic, click here.

Cities in DeKalb County

– The City of Stonecrest Special Election will only be on the ballot for those who live in the boundaries of the proposed city.

– DeKalb residents in the City of Atlanta have 2 Special Election questions on T-SPLOST and MARTA sales taxes.

– DeKalb residents in the City of Decatur have 5 Homestead Exemption questions.

– Pine Lake residents get to vote on liquor package sales.

The five tax-related questions on Decatur’s Nov. 8 ballot are:

– Expanding the Decatur school homestead tax exemption to seniors 65 and older. The exemption will save seniors $993 on every $100,000 of their home’s value

– Increasing the city’s basic homestead exemption from $20,000 to $25,000

– Increasing the exemption from homeowners over 65 from $1,000 to $10,000

– A new $15,000 exemption for homeowners over 62 with a household income of less than $50,000

– Repealing an old cap on the exemptions

*Source: Decatur Tax Blog, news archives

Are you concerned about voter fraud or voter intimidation. The Justice Department is monitoring this election closely.

Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) William Toliver has been appointed as the District Election Officer for the Northern District of Georgia. He will oversee the handling of complaints related to election fraud and voting rights abuses.

He can be reached by calling (404) 581-6001.

The FBI will have special agents in each field office to handle allegations of election fraud and election abuses. The local field office can be reached at (404) 679-9000.

“Complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington, DC by phone at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767, by fax at(202) 307-3961, by email to [email protected] or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/ complaint/votintake/index.php,” the press release from the Justice Department says.

Decaturish will be bringing you live election results this evening.

People fought and died for your right to vote. Please vote today. It’s important.

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