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Military, overseas citizens can e-vote this year

Military, overseas citizens can e-vote this year

ATLANTA -- Georgia's military and overseas citizens will be able to participate in the state's upcoming presidential primary by e-vote starting later this month.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp said those voters can access their absentee ballots electronically starting Jan. 21 for the Mar. 6 election.

Kemp and Georgia National Guard Adjutant General Jim Butterworth will conduct a joint outreach and education effort to promote voting opportunities for military personnel and their families.

Go here for more information: www.sos.ga.gov/mvp.

What will a penny sales tax for education buy?

What will a penny sales tax for education buy?

ATLANTA -- Voters in two cities and six counties in Metro Atlanta will decide Tuesday whether to renew a one-cent sales tax for school construction.

The education SPLOST is a one-cent special purpose local option sales tax that was first approved by voters in Atlanta, Decatur and Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cherokee, Douglas and Henry counties in 1997.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters will be asked to continue that tax with SPLOST IV.

In DeKalb County, the renewal of ESPLOST would generate $475 million for dozens of capital projects, including new buildings, new roofs, air-conditioning systems, even smart boards in every classroom.

7 named to Deal's immigration review board

7 named to Deal's immigration review board

ATLANTA -- Seven people have been appointed to a newly created board to look into complaints about state and local officials failing to comply with state laws related to immigration.

The Immigration Enforcement Review Board was created by the state's tough new law targeting illegal immigration.

Appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal are Americans for Immigration Control spokesman Phil Kent, former Fulton County GOP chairman Shawn Hanley and lawyer Ben Vinson. Appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle are Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin and Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager. Appointed by House Speaker David Ralston are lawyer Robert Mumford and Colquitt County Commissioner Terry Clark.

The board will have the power to investigate complaints, hold hearings, subpoena documents and witnesses, and take disciplinary action.

LOCAL PROFILE: Clayton County Commission Chairman, Eldrin Bell

JONESBORO, Ga. -- Eldrin Bell is a local legend in Atlanta local law enforcement and politics.

Recently, the Where U Live spoke with him about his history in Atlanta and his current position in Clayton County.

Tracking programs created to bring jobs to Georgia

Tracking programs created to bring jobs to Georgia

ATLANTA -- With Georgia's unemployment rate remaining in double digits, 11Alive journalists are busy digging into three programs that promised to create jobs.

One of them is the federal stimulus program.

According to the state's Stimulus Accountability website, the federal government has granted Georgia approximately $3.2 billion in stimulus funds. Georgia's unemployment rate was around 8.8 percent just prior to the start of the stimulus program. Two years later, unemployment has risen to the current rate of 10.1 percent.

Where are the stimulus jobs?

In Paulding County, the stimulus program is getting mixed reviews.

Paulding County has received approximately $46 million in federal stimulus funds. The unemployment rate there was 6 percent in 2008 before the stimulus program. Unemployment in Paulding has risen to its current rate of 10.6 percent.

1,901 Georgia elected officials failed to file disclosures on time

1,901 Georgia elected officials failed to file disclosures on time

ROSWELL-- One thousand nine hundred and one elected officials in Georgia missed a deadline to disclose their campaign finances by June 30, according to the state Ethics Commission. 

Most of them are down-ballot politicians little-known outside their locales.  11Alive News obtained the list after filing a request under the Georgia Open Records Act.

RELATED: List of non/late-filers as of June 30, 2011

One of those named is the mayor of Roswell.

"I thought I'd filed everything, so it's a surprise," said Mayor Jere Wood.  "I'll have to look into it," he said after an 11Alive News reporter informed Wood of his presence on the list.

Is legislative redistricting "transparent?"

Is legislative redistricting "transparent?"

ATLANTA -- It may be to the state Capitol what Area 51 is to the Nevada desert -- a place shrouded in mystery, with red letters warning against entry, and black curtains blocking the glass.

It's next to the reapportionment committee office. It's the room where the maps are made.

"They've got computers in there, a lot of equipment and stuff," said Rep. Roger Lane, chairman of the House Reapportionment Committee. Lane couldn't explain why the windows were blacked out, though. "I didn't do it. I don't know."

The maps are the legislative boundaries, redrawn during a special session of the legislature based on 2010 census data. The process, behind the glass, is touted by Republicans as "transparent."

"It's been the most transparency I've seen in the system in twenty years," said Sen. Don Balfour, Republican chairman of the Rules Committee.