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Penny sales tax on Barrow ballot

WINDER - Tuesday will be cloudy, but Barrow County Elections Supervisor Kristi Royston hopes a gray day won't keep people from voting on a penny sales tax on the ballot.

Special elections - like the countywide one and another in Auburn to elect a council member - usually don't draw many voters. But Royston is holding out hope.

"Maybe we'll be surprised," she said.

Already, 178 people have cast their ballots, voting early in the election that asks voters to extend a penny sales tax earmarked for education another five years. Regular polling places will be open in 16 county locations from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The county school system is asking voters to pass the penny sales tax renewal to fund the expansion of five schools, renovations at others and the creation of a performing arts facility, among other projects. One of the biggest projects the district will take on if the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax passes will be renovations to Winder-Barrow High School.

Another election, to be held in Auburn, pits Donna Scouten against Len Cooper for a seat on the city's council. By Friday, 18 people had voted early in that election.

Cooper, who has been a mayor and councilman in the city in the past, said he has a history of representing the majority voice in Auburn and is prepared to serve in the city the rest of his life.

Scouten ran for office for the first time in November against Councilmen Billy Parks and David Hawthorne.

Hawthorne resigned to become the city's public utilities director immediately after taking the oath of office.

Scouten said she would like to control the city's growth and work to increase commercial sewer.