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Monday, November 7, 2011 - 12:10pm

Some Voters Hit Two Polling Places

Voters in some Georgia precincts will have to visit two polling places to cast their ballots Tuesday. Georgians will vote on sales taxes, local offices and, in some areas, selling alcohol on Sunday.

Some voters will cast ballots for city elections in one place, and county and state elections in another. They include voters in Hall, Henry and Cherokee Counties.

State officials say cities typically run their own elections for municipal races while counties handle statewide contests and sales tax referenda. There’s no geographic pattern to the jurisdictions with separate elections. Municipal elections typically only occur in odd-years so it’s not an issue during presidential election cycles.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who oversees elections, says voters need to be prepared before they go to the polls.

“You can check your county Web sites or you can go to the Secretary of State’s Web site and go to the My Voter Page and there’s a lot of information that you can pull up about your individualized polling precinct and other information there for voters,” he said.

He said voters can also contact a local elections' office for more information.

Voters in Flowery Branch, Oakwood and several other cities in Hall County will have to cast votes for city and county elections in separate places. Charlotte Sosebee, who is with the Hall County elections office, said the practice is not uncommon, but she and her colleagues are nonetheless working hard to get the word out to voters.

“We have had some good and bad remarks from our voters,” she said. “But we’re just encouraging our voters to do their homework, and know exactly where they’re supposed to go on Election Day to cast their ballots. We’re just trying to cut off any confusion ahead of time.”

Sosebee said voters need to know that it's not enough to just show up for elections. They need to be informed before they arrive at the polls.

Many jurisdictions will vote on sales taxes for education in addition to city council races. About 100 Georgia cities and counties are holding votes on whether to allow stores to sell alcohol on Sundays.