DECISION 2016: What to expect on the ballot when you head to the polls

DECISION 2016: What to expect on the ballot when you head to the polls
Senator Freddie Sims (Source: WALB)
Senator Freddie Sims (Source: WALB)
Dougherty County School Board member Melissa Strother (Source: WALB)
Dougherty County School Board member Melissa Strother (Source: WALB)

(WALB) - Georgia's voter registration period for e General Election ended on October 11.

What voters can expect on the ballot

Ballots vary by counties and districts, but all Georgians will see several constitutional amendments as they cast their votes.

Georgia voters will head to the polls on November 8.

Other than casting ballots for president, U.S. senator and local officials, residents will vote yes or no on four amendments.

Amendment one is the controversial Opportunity School District proposal, which would authorize the state government to intervene in failing schools.

Voting yes would allow the state to take over chronically failing schools.

"Those parents cannot afford to move their children to better schools are trapped and it's not fair to those sixty something thousand children that are left in these failing schools and it's not fair to their parents. They have no future," said Senator Freddie Sims.

Voting no, would allow school boards and districts to continue handling failing schools.

Many south Georgia school systems have announced their opposition to the amendment.

"We would have no voice. We would not be able to be their voice anymore. So it really takes away not only the local school board's control, but really the voice of the local community," explained Dougherty County School Board member Melissa Strother.

Amendment two is the Georgia Additional Penalties for Sex Crimes.

Voting for it would provide money for the Safe Harbor for the Sexually Exploited Children Fund.

That money would come from penalties imposed on court cases for certain sex crimes.

Amendment three is the Georgia Replacement of the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Yes to this measure would replace the independent commission that can punish judges for ethics violations with a new commission appointed and controlled by the General Assembly.

And Amendment four is the Georgia Uses of Revenue from Taxes on Fireworks.

The passing of this amendment would allow the sales taxes from fireworks purchases to be available for trauma care, fire protection services and public safety.

Voting early

Early voting in Georgia begins Monday, October 17.

Polls will be open for Saturday voting on October 29 in all counties.

Dougherty and Lowndes counties will allow Sunday voting on October 30.

Georgia residents can contact their local elections office for early voting locations.

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