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Is The TSPLOST Ballot Preamble Biased?

The TSPLOST ballot preamble is being criticized for its possible bias. Recent survey shows support for tax is losing ground.


On July 31, voters in Decatur and Avondale Estates, as well as the rest of the 10-county metro region, will cast their ballots on the Transportation Investment Act to decide whether to establish a one-cent special transportation sales tax on themselves to fund various transportation projects.

The phrasing of the ballot question's preamble has been criticized for being biased.

It reads: "Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight"

Attorney Pitts Carr told WSB-TV, "Create jobs? Stop congestion? Who wouldn't vote for that?"

The attorney has been hired by referendum opponents to find out how that language, which was OK’d by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, was approved for the ballot when it was not part of the original law.

What do you think? Is the TSPLOST ballot preamble biased? Tell us in the comments below.

It is now less than four weeks until metro Atlanta residents head to the polls to vote on a referendum that will fund more than $6 billion in transportation improvements through a regional sales tax.

And by the results of a recent poll, the proposed tax is losing steam as the referendum voting date approaches.

A poll by Rosetta Stone Communications for WSB-TV last week showed that only 38 percent of voters surveyed in the 10-county metro region are in favor of the sales tax.

That is down four percentage points from a late May polling. That month, 45 percent of those surveyed were opposed the new sales tax and last week’s numbers indicated that now 49 percent are against it.

The most recent survey showed that Fulton and DeKalb voters combine for 50 percent 'for' and 32 percent 'against' the tax. But the other eight counties - Cobb, Cherokee, Clayton, Douglas, Fayette, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale – are against it. 

How will you vote?

Scott Tewell July 09, 2012 at 01:35 PM
From that wording, it does appear the writers of the language are biased. Unfortunately, they chose weak arguments. The primary objectives of this effort should not be to create jobs. And decreasing traffic is impacted by far too many factors to make such a result reasonably certain. Why not just say "to improve regional transportation and transit systems" or something similar.
Ralph Ellis July 09, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Bias in the T-SPLOST ballot language? Do you see it?
bulldogger July 23, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Naw, I wouldn't say it's "Biased". THIS IS "a jobs program", pure and simply. Voting "Yes" will do nothing to improve traffic in the Atlanta Metro Area and voting "NO" will send a message to the GADOT to reduce their "Bloat" and bring "Fiscal Sanity" to the department. This is just another "Forever Tax" that ensures the employees of the GADOT jobs and bloated pensions will be safe for another generation, at least. Vote NONONONONONONONONO on July 31, 2012. This message brought to you by a concerned citizen for the preservation of DeKalb County.

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