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Hartselle Enquirer

Four votes flip finish

Priceville Town Clerk Kelly Dean and attorney William Sanders count the provisional ballots that decided the wet/dry referendum.

Priceville recount ends with town still dry

“It’s almost a rout.”
Priceville City Attorney William Sanders summed up – jokingly – the four-vote margin that separated the wet/dry forces in the town. Of course, four votes is a wide margin considering before the count of provisional ballots, the pro-alcohol forces were ahead by the slimmest of margins – one vote.
Priceville’s Town Council met Tuesday to canvass the results of the previous week’s alcohol referendum. At the end of the regular election, the vote stood 476 for legalized alcohol sales, 475 against. There were 17 provisional ballots, however.
Of those 17, the Morgan County Board of Registrars determined two hadn’t transferred their voting registration from Cullman County to Morgan County therefore weren’t eligible to vote. The remaining 15 were counted and broke down to five votes for, 10 votes against.
“The people have spoken and that’s what democracy is about,” Priceville Mayor Melvin Duran said. “The bigger issue to me is that we had about 700 people (in Priceville) that didn’t vote at all.”
Priceville has 1,653 registered voters. With the provisionals, a total of 966 people cast a ballot.
Priceville’s voters rejection of legalized alcohol sales comes on the heels of Hartselle’s rejection on the same issue. Other similar efforts, including Cullman and Russellville, legalized alcohol sales, leaving Hartselle as the largest dry city in the state. Cullman’s decision landed it in the Washington Post, with Hartselle also included in the article among the list of dry cities.
Duran said he’s convinced the matter will come up again but the soonest it can do so is 2012, the date of the next municipal election.
“I can guarantee it’s not over,” Duran said.

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