Group of Augusta Commissioners want to take SPLOST 7 off the ballot

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News 12 First at Five/ Monday, May 5, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Hundreds of voters are heading to the polls to vote early for the May 20th election. Now, a group of Augusta Commissioners want to change the ballot.

Mary James and Tracey Williams wanted to beat the lines on May 20 and decided to vote early.

"Basically I'm a concerned citizen and a concerned voter. I'm concerned about Augusta," voter Tracey Williams said.

"I feel that no vote is no voice. This is our way of expressing what Augusta needs," voter Mary James said.

On Tuesday, Commissioners will discuss taking the SPLOST 7 question off the ballot. Experts say continuing the the penny sales tax could raise nearly $200 million. It's the same plan that might be thrown out in federal court.

"I don't know if we can do that. I think it needs to be off it was wrong and needs to be a null vote. It's not right," Commissioner Marion Williams said.

"There were five white commissioners and Bill Fennoy. You ask yourself where were the others? This was an important discussion and now we have somebody who wants to bring it back," Commissioner Grady Smith said.

City leaders are set to approve the $50 million list of projects for the engineering department while some have dozens of questions for Mayor Copenhaver's $5 million project to buy King and Sibley Mills.

Richmond County Board of Elections Supervisor Lynn Bailey says changing the ballot this late would be a challenge for her office.

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