“Expanding early voting is a step to ease concerns of voters given the recent Supreme Court decision gutting a portion of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 that ignited debate over voter suppression and ease of access to the polls,” Alarcon said in a statement. “So our city is responding in a positive way by opening the Stockbridge precinct to registered voters for 12 full days before Election Day, rather than the usual five.”
Alarcon and county Elections Director Janet Shelnutt signed an agreement calling for the Ted Strickland Community Center to be open for 12 days prior to the Nov. 5 election.
Shelnutt also agreed to mirror Stockbridge’s early voting dates, which will provide expanded voting opportunities for citizens – including two Saturdays – in unincorporated Henry County and the cities of Hampton, McDonough and Locust Grove.
Alarcon said Stockbridge will pay $5,000 so residents can have expanded access to the polls.
“It is my goal to provide greater ballot access to the residents of Stockbridge while eliminating the potential for long lines at the polls,” he Alarcon. “Stockbridge voters will be able to cast ballots for a full 17 days before Election Day, with 12 of those days being within the city limits.”
Stockbridge will elect a mayor and two council members for four-year terms each.
Citizens will also be voting on a special purpose local option sales tax or SPLOST referendum to extend the current 1-cent sales tax to fund capital and transportation projects in the community.
As the SPLOST III program expires in March 2014, if the SPLOST IV program is approved by voters in November, it would continue the penny sales tax beginning in April for another six years.
It would not be an additional tax.
City of Stockbridge Election Calendar
Oct. 7: Last day a person may register and be eligible to vote in the municipal general election and any applicable runoff. To register to vote or check registration status, visit http://mvp.sos.state.ga.us/
Oct. 10: Candidate Forum for Stockbridge election from 6 to 9 pm at the Merle Manders Conference Center.
Oct. 14 to 18: countywide advance voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the county elections office, 345 Phillips Drive in McDonough.
Registered voters, including those in unincorporated Henry County and the cities of Stockbridge, Hampton, McDonough and Locust Grove, can advance vote at the county office.
Oct. 19 to Nov. 1: early voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ted Strickland Community Center, 130 North Berry St. in Stockbridge, excluding Sundays.
Residents of unincorporated Henry County and the cities of Stockbridge, Hampton, McDonough and Locust Grove can also early vote at the county office.
Nov. 5: Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the community center in Stockbridge and at all county precincts.
Dec. 3: Runoff election, if applicable.