In this March 1, 2016 file photo, Joanna Walters puts on a "I'm a Georgia Voter" sticker on her American flag shirt as she votes during Georgia's primary election at the polling station at South Lowndes Recreation Complex in Lake Park, Ga. ( AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Photo: Andrew Harnik
Photo: Andrew Harnik

What's on the ballot in Georgia and metro Atlanta?

As Georgians begin early voting, the choice of the next president is just one of the items on the ballot. There's also a statewide vote for U.S. Senate, a contested seat on the Georgia Public Service Commission, and a smattering of contested races for local leaders, ranging from Georgia Legislature to county commissioner to sheriff. 

Georgia voters will also decide on four proposed constitutional amendments and county-specific issues. Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 17 while Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

» AJC Guide to the 2016 Presidential Election

Here's a look at what is on the ballot in Georgia:

Opportunity School District: Statewide, voters will be asked to give state government authority to take over failing public schools through a constitutional amendment. The so-called Opportunity School District referendum is backed by Gov. Nathan Deal. Opponents include leaders of local school districts. 

Other statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot feature the state's Judicial Qualifications Commission, the fireworks sales tax and aiding human trafficking victims.

Transportation SPLOST: Atlanta and Fulton County voters will decide an increase in the local sales tax for transportation. The proposed TSPLOST includes two referendums for the city of Atlanta that together would raise Atlanta's sales tax from 8 percent to 8.9 percent, or 8.9 cents tax for every dollar purchased. It includes 0.4 percent for Atlanta city transportation projects and 0.5 percent for MARTA. 

In Fulton County outside the city of Atlanta, residents will vote on whether to raise sales taxes by three-quarters of a penny for five years to fund road, bridge and other fixes. There is also an election for Fulton County sheriff. And in south Fulton, voters will decide whether to incorporate as a new city of South Fulton.

» Where can I vote early in Atlanta and Fulton County?

What is on the ballot in Cobb County: There are no major issues on the ballot in Cobb County this November. Incumbent Chairman Tim Lee lost his re-election bid to challenger Mike Boyce in July. With no Democrat in the race, Boyce should face no opposition in the November election.

» Where can I early vote in Cobb County?

There is a question on the Nov. 8 ballot pertaining only to Marietta voters about term limits for city elected officials. Read more here. 

What is on the ballot in DeKalb County: DeKalb voters will elect the county’s next CEO, decide whether to create the city of Stonecrest and extend tax breaks for homeowners. Read more here.

» Where can I early vote in DeKalb County?

What is on the ballot in Gwinnett County: Voters in Gwinnett will decide on County Commission Chariman and whether to renew a 1 percent sales tax for construction projects. Read more here.

» Where can I early vote in Gwinnett County?

» Where can I early vote in Clayton County?

AJC Voter GuideThe AJC has partnered with the Georgia League of Women Voters to produce an online voter guide for contested elections and referendums on the ballots in each metro county.

Learn more: In print and online, the AJC news reporters will offer explanations and previews of local and county races and referendum. 

Read more:

Statewide election issues

Amendment 1: School Takeover / Opportunity School District: Will it improve failing schools or just fuel resentment

Amendment 3: Changes to the Judicial Qualifications Commission - a needed reform to govern judges or a power grab?

Amendments 2 and 4: Fireworks tax to fund trauma care, and a Safe Harbor proposal to fight sex trafficking

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