Today is primary day and that means Georgians get to go to the polls and decide a major issue for the people in metro Atlanta. The T-SPLOST vote is today and it should be a very tight race. The stakes are very high ($8 billion dollars high), and a lot of different groups have come together in odd ways both for and against the measure.
Turnout is expected to be extremely high considering this is technically a primary election. Turnout is expected to be upwards of 50% higher in some counties than it was in the last primary. Whether the increase in turnout happens is yet to be seen. If you ask me, higher turnout doesn’t look good for supporters of the T-SPLOST. I still think higher turnout favors the Tea Party crowd, which is adamantly against this measure.
The real question that today brings is do you prefer a compromise bill that isn’t perfect, or would you rather go back to the drawing board and hope you can get a more perfect bill? People on both sides believe their position is the correct one. One thing that is clear, a vote No today means we will have to wait at least two years before anything else is put before the voters.
In my opinion, we cannot wait that long. This T-SPLOST bill is not perfect, but it’s ‘good enough for government work’ as my former boss would say. If the bill fails, we will have to wait at least two years for another transportation funding alternative to be brought up for vote. In the meantime that means cities like Dallas will eat our lunch when a business is looking for a place to locate a big job center in the south. For years those cities have been using “you don’t wanna be stuck in Atlanta traffic” as their number one argument against us. A vote No adds fuel to the fire and gives them another argument on top of it. A vote No will allow cities like Dallas to say “not only do you not wanna be stuck in Atlanta traffic, but the people there can’t even work together to help solve their traffic problems there.”
It doesn’t matter how accurate or true these arguments are. It is all about perception. A vote No gives the perception to outsiders that we cannot fix our own mess and we’re not serious. That means that for two years, that perception will hang over our shoulder. If the T-SPLOST fails will it be the end of the world? No, but it will make things harder. Will T-SPLOST if passed fix our transportation mess? No, but it is a good first step.
Regardless of how you are voting today, if you live in the metro Atlanta area, I urge you to go out and vote. I would much rather this bill fail with 90% turnout than it pass with 30% turnout. Go vote today!