Note: This story has been updated to remove a poll result.
By David Pendered
The clock is ticking on the July 31 election day, when a referendum on metro Atlanta’s first regional transportation sales tax will be on the ballot.
Today is the last day to register to vote in the election. Registrations by mail must be postmarked no later than July 2 to be considered, according to the Georgia Secretary of State. Other important deadlines are listed below.
Meanwhile, the Metro Atlanta Chamber has moved to counter a poll conducted for WSB-TV that showed waning support for the sales tax – especially among voters who reside in counties other than Fulton and DeKalb counties.
The poll was conducted by Rosetta Stone Communications, an Atlanta-based firm that has posted on its website details of a poll it conducted in May on the voter sentiment of the transportation sales tax referendum.
In the past month, the numbers have shifted somewhat toward the negative for passage:
- Support has dropped 4 percent – from 41.5 percent to 37.5 percent;
- Opposition has increased more than 3 percent – from 45 percent to 48.8 percent.
Support is softening in Fulton and DeKalb counties:
- Support has fallen from 52 percent to 49.6 percent;
- Opposition has dropped from 33.3 percent to 32.4 percent.
The margin of error in both polls is plus/minus 3.5 percent.
Click here for results of the May 20 poll conducted for WSB-TV by Rosetta Stone. It includes cross tabs of the poll of 850 likely voters.
The Metro Atlanta Chamber responded to the WSB-TV poll with an email sent above the signature of chamber President Sam Williams. Here’s the full message:
“WSB released a poll this afternoon (June 29). The results are in stark contrast to the results of our own as will happen many times in the ensuing weeks. We do not know anything about the methodology used by WSB’s pollster but we have every confidence in ours.
“Additionally, our polling has shown a long standing trend of people saying they plan their day around traffic. In fact, 87 percent of voters say the traffic in metro Atlanta has gotten so bad that something must be done about it.
“As such, we believe voters in this region want a solution that creates jobs, relieves traffic and allows them to get home faster for more time with their families and friends. We are working hard to make sure citizens have that opportunity and VOTE YES ON JULY 31. This is going to be a very close election and your actions – absentee voting, talking to your friends and employees, supporting the campaign, displaying yard signs and buttons – can make the difference between whether we win or lose.”
Here are some key dates to remember about the July 31 election:
- July 2 is the deadline for voter registration;
- Advance voting begins July 9 and continues through July 27. Each county has its own list of dates, times and locations. To find out about your county, click here to link to the secretary of state’s website and then click on a box to link to your county.
- Absentee ballots are available by mail and must be received by the county’s board of registrar’s office by 7 p.m. on July 31. A voter who requests an absentee ballot by mail does not need to provide a reason why he or she is voting absentee, according to the secretary of state. For complete information about absentee ballots, click here to read the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.