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Pike to vote on liquor by the drink Nov. 4

Along with voting for governor and other state offices, Pike voters will decide whether or not to allow sales of liquor by the drink in the county. The local ballot question reads, ‘Shall the governing authority of Pike County be authorized to issue licenses to sell distilled spirits for beverage purposes by the drink, such sales to be for consumption only on the premises?’ Pike has only one restaurant that is not in any city limits, Barnstormer’s Grill at the Peach State Airport in Williamson. Advanced voting will be held Oct. 13 through Oct. 31 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the courthouse for the Nov. 4 election. Saturday voting will be held Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., also at the courthouse. Registered voters need to bring a government issued picture ID. The courthouse door closest to registrar’s office will be unlocked so voters may park on Jackson Street. Applications for absentee ballots may be submitted by Oct. 31. The ballot must be returned to the registrar’s office by Nov. 4. On the ballots will be candidates for U.S. senate, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of insurance, state school superintendent, commissioner of labor and public service commissioner. Running unopposed are 3rd district U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, 16th district State Sen. Marty Harbin and 131st District State Rep. Johnnie Caldwell Jr. Per state law, local commissioners are on the ballot but no one qualified as write in candidates against them. Two statewide Constitutional Amendments will be on the ballot. The state income tax amendment would require any increase in the state income tax rate of 6% to be enacted only by constitutional amendment. This proposed amendment does so by prohibiting the General Assembly from having the power to raise the tax above the current rate. The Fund for Traumatic Injury Treatment amendment would allow the General Assembly to increase the penalties and fees for reckless driving offenses and direct those funds to a Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund. The fund would be created by the state to provide care and rehabilitation services to Georgia citizens who have received traumatic head or spinal cord injuries. The Tax Exemption at Public Colleges and Universities statewide resolution would provide an exemption from ad valorem taxes for private property on a Board of Regents campus that is used for student housing or parking and the private party obtained its interest by a competitive procurement process. The bill passed by the General Assembly in 2014 would become effective as law only if approved by the November vote.

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