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UPDATE: Forsyth County Voters Pass SPLOST VII

Forsyth County voters have spoken and passed SPLOST VII (the special purpose local option sales tax) that will fund a new courthouse, jail expansion, animal shelter and other infrastructure projects.

UPDATE: Comments from Forsyth County Tea Party and Forsyth County Democratic Party, 11/9, 12:42 p.m.

It was a nail-biting finale as the votes were being tallied Tuesday night in Forsyth County's special election on SPLOST VII.

and posted comments from many residents as the votes were being reported and tallied at the Forsyth County Administration Building.

The passed with 6825 votes in favor (52%), and 6321 against (48%), a difference of 504 votes.

The total number includes votes from the county's 25 precincts, the in person voting (advance and early voting) and the ballots by mail received. As of Friday, Nov. 4, the totals were:

  • Advance Voting (in person) - 2742
  • Ballots by Mail Received - 79 (99 ballots were mailed out)
  • Early Voting (in person) - 685

"We still have six provisional ballots that will be counted or not counted, depending if they are eligible on Monday morning," said Barbara Luth, supervisor of .

Luth went on to explain what provisional ballots are.

"Those are people that went to the polls, they either went to the wrong poll and did not have time to get to their own poll or they feel that they did register to vote, and we don't have the registration," she said. "Or in one case, they forgot to bring their ID to a poll and they are required to bring their ID to us to get it counted."

Now that the one-percent sales tax referendum has passed the 

Cumming Patch talked with four of the community members who, in the last few days, wrote a 'letter to the editor,' about Tuesday night's results.

"We're pleased that the citizens of Forsyth are educated enough to vote, because that was our goal to educate people and get them out to vote–so we're very pleased about that," said . "Now we just feel like we can work on the improvements of the infrastructure and public safety that the county deserves and has come to expect."

"I'm pleased personally that it passed, but I'm particularly pleased at the voter turnout–it was a very high turnout for a special election," said Ethan Underwood, chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party. "Obviously a lot of folks are watching how government dollars are spent."

"There's never been a SPLOST that's been defeated in our county or that's even been really close," . Tea Party is very, very focused on educating people on the issues, getting people active and getting them out to vote, that was always our main purpose and I think we accomplished that. We had almost double the amount of voters show up for this SPLOST that did for the school SPLOST [March 2011 election].

Tea Party is not about this one SPLOST, we are not going away, we are here for the long haul…we want to focus on fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limiting government. Voshall also added, It was interesting to me that the precincts that were more overwhelming in favor of this are the exact same precincts that are getting the dollars spent in them and that are getting all this project money sent to them. And it was pretty much the city and it was pretty much down 141 and around that area in Johns Creek, Laurel Springs area."

"I think in the long run this is going to be very beneficial for the citizens and the county that this has gone through and I'm proud for that, . But we also know that when you have a lot of estimated and approximate budgets for areas we need to be very cognizant that there's not any waste and that things are spent appropriately."

The results of the percentages reflect that this was a very concerned topic that the people were interested enough to vote, but it really should have had a larger voter turnout, especially with all the publicity–that's a little disappointing, but it's here."

Marc November 09, 2011 at 11:48 AM
I guess the people of this county are better off than I thought. To not vote for a tax decrease and to vote to increase our debt to record levels is mind blowing. The people of Ohio would be proud. But next year or the year after, when you learn of millage increases that you DO NOT have control over, please look for my :I told you so" post. But on the bright side 48% of the voters voted against this. If I were a Commissioner I would be updating my resume.
Wayne A. November 09, 2011 at 03:51 PM
What blows my mind is how the voters of Forsyth County allow officials to put tax increases on the ballot in an off-cycle election, refusing to put the Sunday Alcohol Sales on the ballot with SPLOST because they knew that it would spell doom for SPLOST. If a tax increase is that important, why not put it on the ballot during a general election? No need to answer...we all know why. The big question is why the voters don't push the officials who create these underhanded elections into retirement.
Pair Of Guys Movers November 09, 2011 at 04:03 PM
We do not need a new jail and courthouse, what we need is a vibrant downtown shopping district and public areas like Suwanee and Duluth have. Those cities promote commerce and concerts for the good of the public. What then is the image that Cumming on the other hand is promoting? Crime quickly comes to mind. Take a look at our neighboring communities...even Dahlonega got it right with it's thriving and appealing downtown district. It's a place you would like to be with family and friends. Cumming has the benefit of Hwy 20 running right through the center of it, but visitors will never see a beautiful town green or fountains here...only a jail, pawn shops, UGLY digital billboards and bail bond places. Clearly our priorities are in order when $101 million will be devoted solely to a new courthouse and a new jail while the remaining $70 million will go to "transportation improvements".
Marc November 09, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Very well said! Those areas in Duluth , Dahlonega and Suwanne bring in tax dollars and jobs. What we have voted for will COST tax dollars and the only jobs created will be government jobs that will cost MORE tax dollars. NOBODY that does not work in downtown Cumming has any reason to stop and spend their money there. What were you thinking people?
Wayne A. November 09, 2011 at 05:51 PM
Another thing to note. It so clear that officials are undermining the democratic process by scheduling SPLOST votes off-cycle. The evidence: Forsyth County is one of the most conservative counties in the country. When you the Democratic Party and the Citizens for Progress crowing about the results of an election in Forsyth County, you know that the popular will is being undermined. The only way they can win is by underhanded manipulation of the process.
The Dude November 09, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Its ridiculous, we voted this down a few years back for the jail and here it is again to bite us in the butt. This time they try to make it more appealing by packaging it with the SPLOST deal, gotta love politics right? Its pathetic overpopulation in our jails and prisons in massive ongoing problem in this nation and we are just falling into that trap in our own backyard. Why don't we spend our money of making this more of a community as the movers said, instead we allow Cumming to go into debt 100 million dollars immediately because, we really need that jail and courthouse right guys? Passed thru cumming the other morning, i don't know about you guys, it seemed like the courthouse we have now was looking good to me. At the same time what do i know im just a tax paying citizen whose dollars get wasted on a series of ridiculous projects..... Just my two cents.
Marc November 09, 2011 at 06:01 PM
They have taken note how our spend loving men and women in congress do things. Let us hope our memory of this day is firm in our mind come next election.
Robert November 09, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Disgusting commentary on democracy in America. Voter turnout was way less than 10%. The only folks who voted were the road construction workers who get a job out of this pork barrel scam. That was by design to get it approved. Has anyone looked at some of the transportation projects? Pure fraud, waste and abuse. We should use the new jail to house the crooks who put this and only this on the ballot, thus virtually mandating it's approval. Only those who benefited voted, the others were just 'too busy' or 'uninformed'. This is AGAINST the desire of the majority of this county's citizenry. And you wonder why this country is disfunctional?
SOGTP November 10, 2011 at 02:18 AM
The taxpayers of Forsyth County are waking up. If you look closely at the totals this was a referendum and the Commissioner, Sheriff Paxton, and Mayor Gravitt lost. Todd Levent, District 3 lost every precinct in his district. Jim Boff lost two of his largest precincts; Amos was on a 10% win margin as well as Bell. Tam lost one precinct and only won his home precinct and two others by 25% margins. These were precincts where the fake E SPLOST signs were located and few if any attempts to educate the public took place. The Commissioners, Sheriff and Gravitt are governing against the will of the people. Taxpayers and citizens realize these men; Patrick Bell, Brian Tam, Pete Amos, Jim Boff, Todd Levent, Sheriff Paxton and Mayor Gravitt are radical and extreme in their governance. Forsyth County does not need radical and extreme people in elected positions.
Melissa E Connor November 12, 2011 at 01:24 AM
They finally won!!! Now the Commissioners will get a Taj Mahal of a jail and courthouse that will have a huge bronze monument with their names prominently displayed on the cornerstones. I trust that the closeness of the vote this time will give them a fair warning about the next election.
Kirk Brady November 13, 2011 at 05:41 AM
We are going to turn into Roswell over night, nice job!!!!

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