Absentee Voting to be Required for Property Rights Voters in City Liquor Referendums

July 15, 2014
Dwayne Page

Not only will Smithville property rights voters be casting paper ballots in the August 7th Municipal Election for mayor and two aldermen, but it appears they will do the same in the November 4th city liquor referendums.

During the July monthly meeting held Monday, the Aldermen adopted on first reading an ordinance establishing a procedure permitting those non-resident property owners to vote by absentee ballot. Under the ordinance, city property rights voters may only vote by absentee or paper ballot in the city liquor referendums. They would still be free to vote in person at their own precinct or during early voting for other offices on the November 4th Tennessee General Election Ballot.

Without such an ordinance, the city's property rights voters would likely have to go to two places to vote on election day. This process only applies to property rights voters, those who live outside the city in DeKalb County but who have property inside the city and are qualified to vote in a city election.

Earlier this year, the aldermen adopted a separate ordinance establishing the same procedure for city property rights voters in the August 7th Smithville Municipal Election

The ordinance passed on first reading Monday for the November 4th referendums states, "Whereas, T.C.A. 2-6-205, establishes a procedure permitting those non-resident property owners to vote by absentee ballot if an ordinance is passed within the requirements set out in said statute:

Now, Therefore, be it ordained by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, that

Section 1. By passing this ordinance it does hereby require that those non-resident property owners voting for the referendums which are on the ballot for the November 4, 2014 ballot shall be required to vote absentee for said referendum.

Section 2. This ordinance shall be effective only for the November 4, 2014 ballot for the City of Smithville.

Section 3. The DeKalb County Election Commission shall notify the non-resident property owners as set out in T.C.A. 2-6-205 of the requirements of this ordinance.

Section 4. This ordinance shall take effect from and after its final passage and be effective only for the November 4, 2014 election.

In the referendums on November 4, city voters will be asked to vote either "yes" or "no" on whether to "Authorize consumption of Alcohol on the premises in the City of Smithville" and to "Authorize retail package stores to sell alcoholic beverages in the City of Smithville".

Second and final reading passage of the ordinance is expected at the next city council meeting in August.

Meanwhile, in other business, Mayor Jimmy Poss reappointed Tony Hagan to the Smithville Electric System Board. His new term expires July 1, 2018.

Mayor Poss also reappointed Hilton Conger to the Smithville Electric System Board. His term expires July 1, 2016.

Alderman Jason Murphy was appointed as the city's representative on the 911 Board.

The aldermen approved the mayor's appointments.

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