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Motivated by key issues, voters hit the polls in Roswell

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Roswell Election Day 2021

Campaign signs outside the East Roswell Branch Library line the side of the road. There is a total of 10 candidates running for mayor and three City Council seats in the Nov. 2 election in Roswell.

ROSWELL, Ga. — Voters began casting ballots as soon as the polls opened in Roswell Tuesday morning, making a final decision between 10 candidates running for mayor and three City Council seats.

Voters are also deciding where they want a portion of their taxes to go.

As part of Fulton County, Roswell voters are being asked whether to renew the .75-cent Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or TSPLOST, and whether to continue the one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for education for a sixth, 5-year term.

Poll manager Ezzell Grant said there was a line of about eight people when the Roswell Branch Library opened at 7 a.m. However, he said he was not expecting any long lines throughout the day.

“A few have come in here and there,” Grant said. “It’s been steady with about two people coming in at a time. This location is usually pretty busy, but because it’s a slow election there’s not a great turnout like there is normally.”

As Maya Pounds walked out of the Roswell Branch Library, she said her motivation for voting in this year’s election was the lack of affordable housing in Roswell.

“It seems to be getting a little out of control as far as home prices and rental prices go,” Pounds said. “We’re renters. I grew up here, so I’ve lived in Roswell for 30-plus years, and I’ve been a homeowner and I’ve been a renter – a mix of both. I’ve been here long enough to see how things have changed in terms of affordability.”

It was a similar scene at the East Roswell Branch Library. Bob Sullivan, who has lived in Roswell for 35 years, said he believes the most contested seat up for election this year is for mayor.

Kurt Wilson and Jason Yowell are both running against first-term Mayor Lori Henry. Meanwhile, Peter Vanstrom and incumbent Marie Willsey are running for the Post 4 City Council seat. Lee Hills and incumbent Matt Judy are running for Post 6.

There are three candidates vying for the Post 5 seat left vacant by Councilman Matthew Tyser who is not seeking re-election. They are Will Morthland, Michael Dal Cerro and Yalonda Freeman.

Sullivan said although his wife did most of the research ahead of Election Day, they both agreed that they are looking for new council members who will be more fiscally responsible.

“And apparently, there’s been some kind of fighting between the mayor and the City Council, so we’re trying to rectify that by voting for a new mayor,” Sullivan said. “There were a couple candidates who were also very interested in making Roswell a destination place with museums – I like that. And also, some of these empty boxes (stores) like the Target that’s over there. There’s a lot of that. We need to get that fixed.”

Another voter, Susan Halverson, said she was more concerned about the local budget and roads as well as the financial situation in the country as a whole.

“Just wish more people were here,” Halverson said.

Polls close at 7 p.m. To find your assigned precinct and a preview of your ballot, visit the Georgia My Voter Page.

Stay tuned to for results after the polls close.

Reach Chamian Cruz at 770-847-8079. Follow her on Twitter @xchamian.

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