ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal has announced the winner of Georgia's license plate contest.
Linda Sosebee of Forsyth created the winning design, which features peaches in the foreground against a backdrop of green hills.
Revenue Commissioner Doug MacGinnitie says more than 500,000 ballots were cast.
The contest ran up against a bit of controversy earlier this summer after confusion arose over whether the motto "In God We Trust" would be on the new car tag.
The public was invited to re-vote on the top eight designs, which were narrowed from 500 entries submitted from across the state. State officials chose the winner from the top three vote-getters.
Georgia drivers can get the new plates next year. People have the option of adding the religious motto to the tag for an additional dollar.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-08-22-11 1429EDT
Here is more from Gov. Nathan Deal's Office:
Gov. Nathan Deal, along with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Department of Revenue Commissioner Doug MacGinnitie, unveiled today Georgia's new general issue license plate tag. The license plate, designed by Linda Sosebee of Forsyth, is scheduled to begin production in the fall. It garnered the most online votes with a total of 34,154 in the recently concluded 2011 License Plate Design Contest administered by the Department of Revenue.
"After hundreds of thousands of votes were cast, we are pleased to announce the winning design," Deal said. "All of the semifinalists submitted great designs that would reflect well on our state, but the winning plate was the clear favorite among voters. I congratulate Linda Sosebee on being named the winner."
Sosebee's design proved to be the top vote-getter by a wide margin, as the second-place choice of online voters received 15,380. The Department of Revenue received more than 500 design submissions at the outset of the contest. The second-place design was also submitted by Sosebee. Sosebee has created many large-scale murals for the Department of Corrections, the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, several hospitals and private practices and has also designed logos for businesses and corporations. She and her husband, Hugh, have one son.
Georgia's new general issue license plate will incorporate a "digital" (flat) design, meaning it won't have raised numbers and letters. This new production process will result in a cost savings to the state and allow customers the option of having their license plate delivered to them instead of having to go to a county tag office. The "flat" plate technology will afford easier identification by Georgia law enforcement.
Georgia taxpayers will not incur any added expense for production of the new license plates and will also have the option of selecting a plain tag. During the owner's registration period, the department will begin replacing existing license plates once the plate has exceeded the minimum five-year life as set forth by the Georgia Code. O.C.G.A. § 40-2-31.
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