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Hartselle Enquirer

City voters may face long lines on Nov. 2

Hartselle voters who take part in both the General Election and a Special Election on Nov. 2 will have to spend more time waiting in line to cast their ballot than they normally do.
The reason is two separate elections will be taking place at the same time in the same buildings under the direction of two different teams of poll workers.
The General Election ballot is displayed in two columns on a 9 inch by 12 inch ballot with offices up for election ranging from governor to county coroner.  While much smaller in size, the Special Election ballot’s light yellow color packs a lot of voter interest. It offers a “yes” or “no” choice on these two questions: (Special Referendum) Do you favor changing the Hartselle City Board of Education from an appointed to an elected board?  (Municipal Option Election) Do you favor the legal sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages within the municipality?
“We had a similar situation in 2002 when the wet-dry issue was last up for a vote,” City Clerk-Controller Rita Lee said. “We divided the voting centers in half and conducted the General Election on one side and the Special Election on the other side. There was ample space with which to work at the Sparkman Civic Center but it was crowded at times at the American Legion Home.
“Since both elections will be taking place at the same time voters will be directed to register, mark their ballots and cast them in one election and then repeat the process in the other.”
Morgan County Probate Judge Greg Cain said he has requested different colored machines for both Hartselle and Priceville special elections in an effort to prevent voter confusion and speed up the voting process.
Voters who are eligible to vote absentee may request a Special Election ballot at the Municipal Building from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The voter has the option of marking the ballot at that time and leaving it with the city clerk-controller. or returning it in person not later than five days prior to the election. Mailed-in ballots must be received not later than Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.
postmarked not later than November 1.
Wet-dry votes have traditionally attracted big voter turnouts.  In 2002, the vote count was 5,444 or nearly 70 percent of the city’s 7, 839 voters. Of that number, 3,419 voted  “no” and 2,025 voted “yes.”

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