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For most Pickens voters, SPLOST is it on Tuesday ballot


When Pickens voters get to the polls, either early voting later this week or at the polls Tuesday, a sales tax (SPLOST) question will be it for Pickens voters outside of the different cities  - and only one of those has contested seats.

•For Talking Rock residents, officials are asking voters whether or not the town should issue “licenses to sell distilled spirits for beverage purposes by the drink, such sales to be for consumption only on the premises.”

•For businesses inside the city limits of Jasper, voters will decide if Sunday sales of distilled spirits, or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink can begin at 11 a.m. instead of the current 12:30 p.m. 

•Voters in Nelson will elect three council members out of a slate of six candidates. They are David Hamby, Nathan Hamby, Keith Johnston, Susan Johnston, Anthony Simpson, and Martha Ingram-Tipton.

The SPLOST vote has been described as a basic roads and infrastructure plan with funding also allocated to parks and public safety.

The six-year SPLOST collections are allocated to fund for Pickens County:

• 43.35 percent, or $16 million for road/street/bridge Projects and Road Equipment/Facility Improvements; 

• 10 percent, or $3.7 million is set aside for Parks & Recreation; 

• 9.45 percent, or $3.5 million, is for debt service on the airport “horseshoe” project; 

• 8 percent, or $2.96 million is for Fire/EMS/911; 

• 8 percent ($2.96) for the Sheriff’s Department; 

• 3 percent, or $1.11 million for Water and Sewer Facilities. 

The City of Jasper is allotted 13.52 percent, or $5 million; Nelson gets 4.46 percent, or $1.6 million; and Talking Rock is allotted 0.22 percent, or $81,400 – all are for Road/Street/Bridge/Park projects.

Advance voting began Monday, Oct. 14th. Voters wishing to cast their ballot before Election Day may do so Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. through Friday, November 1 at the Pickens County Office of Elections and Registration located at 83 Pioneer Road, Jasper.

Turnout thus far has been “very, very low” said Election Supervisor Julianne Roberts.

As of Monday, only 290 people had turned out to cast ballots early, compared to a usual election average of 200 people per day.

Roberts said she has noticed more confusion than normal among early voters over exactly what is on the ballot. Voters have come in looking for both the sheriff election and commission chairman race on the ballot but that is not until next year.

Roberts said there have also been a few people who saw the election signs out around the Pioneer Road office and stopped but didn’t know what was on the ballot. 

On Monday there is no voting with all voters going to their regular polling place on Election Day Tuesday Tuesday, Nov. 5th from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.