Cobb County November 2021 Municipal Elections

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By Kaitlyn Ball

2021 is considered an “off-year” for voting, but what does that actually mean? It means that while there is not a major presidential or mid-term election, there are local offices that still need your vote. On November 2nd, Cobb County will hold a Municipal General Special Election that ALL eligible voters in Cobb County should participate in. Every voter will have a chance to vote on the Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or Ed-SPLOST, as well as various city offices in five out of the six municipalities. 

So what exactly is on the ballot, and why does it matter? The November election will hold general municipal elections, which include mayoral candidates, city council members, alderman, and Marietta City Schools School Board members, as well as a special election vote on the Ed-SPLOST referendum. Check out a sample ballot from your precinct here to see what specific seats are on your ballot. 

All Cobb County voters will vote whether to extend the Ed-SPLOST tax which funds both Cobb County and Marietta City School systems. This is a 1% sales tax on retail goods that goes towards the investment of school and student success. The tax provides funding for special improvement projects and repairs, like new school buildings, sports complexes, and updates to building infrastructure. It also allows schools to upgrade technology. Since most of the school systems’ budgets goes toward the salaries of educators and staff, these capital improvements are paid for by the Ed-SPLOST.

The Ed-SPLOST isn’t the only thing that influences and supports education; so do elected officials. In addition to the Ed-SPLOST, five of the six municipalities will be voting for offices that include mayor, Marietta City Schools School Board members, city council members, and alderman. It is important to understand the responsibility of each of these roles since they often influence policies and practices that impact our daily lives sometimes even more than the president. 

Mayors embody their cities. They are the ears that listen to their community members and the voice that creates change for them. A mayor ensures that the city functions effectively by overseeing council meetings and handling legislative tasks with and for the City Council. They also engage and establish a community by voting and signing ordinances to enhance their city, provide resources to their residents, and gain insight and understanding to the businesses and authorities that shape the essence of their city. This allows the mayor to stay embedded in their community to represent the wants and needs of all who inhabit it. 

City Council members assist with the legislative duties of the Mayor, as well as influence health and safety policies for their community. They also serve as board members, along with the Mayor, across various organizations and partnerships. This gives them the power to make decisions about things such as zonings, development, budgets, funding, recreation services, etc. Aldermen play the same role as City Council members but generally represent the community through a Board of Aldermen. They too handle many legislative and executive roles that determine ordinances, policies, and budgets. 

School Board members serve as a liaison between individuals in the community and public schools, addressing concerns and values that represent their district. Public education relies on school board members to create policies and guidelines to establish performance goals and progress. Not only do they maintain a level of education for public schools, but they also facilitate a dialogue for students, parents, and community members to mold their educational experience. 

This November 2nd, make a difference in your own backyard by participating in the Ed-SPLOST and Municipal General Election. Voters MUST go to their designated precinct location on Election Day, so make sure you go to GA My Voter Page to check your precinct location. While you’re there, take a look at a sample ballot to know what offices you are voting for before heading to the polls.  


Georgia Municipal Association. (2018, February 19th). Mayors and Councilmembers: Powers and Duties and their Relationship to Other Municipal Officers, Boards, and Authorities.

National School Boards Association. (n.d.) About School Board and Local Governance. 

Scamihorn, R. & Parker, N. (2021, October 15th). The Chairman’s Brief – The Ed-SPLOST Process with Nick Parker. Cobb County School Board.

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