published Friday, July 8th, 2011

Final day of voting for new Georgia tags

by Andy Johns
Georgia motorists are encouraged to vote for the new general issue license plate. Voting closes July 8, with the official annoucement to be made July 15.  Contributed Photo
Georgia motorists are encouraged to vote for the new general issue license plate. Voting closes July 8, with the official annoucement to be made July 15. Contributed Photo
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License Plate Design Contest

Website to vote

Today is the last day for Georgians to help decide what the back ends of their cars will look like for the next several years.

Voting closes today on the Georgia Department of Revenue’s license plate design contest, which pits eight peachy plates against one another online.

The designs range from a blue and green plate with a vintage-style peach in the center and a retro yellow border to a plain white plate dominated by a stained glass-looking peach. Another shows a mosaic-style peach above a city skyline.

Walker County Tax Commissioner Carolyn Walker said her staff has hung a poster of the designs in the waiting area of the office, generating plenty of conversation among people there to renew their tags.

“A lot of people are saying it’s time that we got a new tag,” she said.

State officials agree.

Tim Mitchell of the Department of Revenue’s Office of Tax Policy said the change is needed because plates are guaranteed only to remain reflective for five years, but some of the plates on the roads have been affixed to cars for 14 years.

“You can imagine we’re getting kind of weak when trying to see what the plates say at night,” he said.

The new plates also allow the state to prepare for flat plates with digital codes rather than the old-fashioned plates with raised numbers. The new plates will start going out in 2012 “at the latest,” according to Mitchell.

State officials would not divulge the identities of the artists, fearing that information might sway the vote.

In a news release, state revenue Commissioner Doug MacGinnitie urged residents to vote for the design “that best represents the State of Georgia.”

A panel of Georgia college and university art professors chose the eight semifinalist plates from more 500 entries submitted by artists around the state. The top three vote-getters will be sent to Gov. Nathan Deal, who will select the winner.

Walker said everyone in her office has voted for their favorites. Personally, she prefers tag No. 6, a sky-blue-and-peach-colored tag with two peaches on the corners and the outline of the state in the center.

“I just like the state emblem in the middle,” she said.

Dade County Tax Commissioner Jane Moreland said her favorite plate is entry No. 5, which shows a pink-flowering peach tree, rolling farmland and four juicy-looking peaches.

“I think it’s a beautiful tag,” she said. “I think it stands out.”

The winning entry will be announced July 15.

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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