Letters are going out this week to the City of Smithville Property Rights voters regarding the voting procedure in a referendum on the ballot in November.
The DeKalb County Election Commission is mailing the letter to over 150 property rights voters stating that if they wish to cast a vote in the package store referendum they can only do so by absentee ballot. Because the referendum is being held in conjunction with a county-wide election, the Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to institute a
relatively new state law that allowed the city to require property rights voters cast ballots only by absentee mail.
The aldermen met in special session Monday night at city hall to adopt this ordinance on second and final reading following a public hearing. No one showed up to oppose the ordinance and it was approved on a 5-0 vote.
"We asked the board to adopt this ordinance as a means for making it more convenient for the property rights voter and to eliminate potential confusion on election day," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. "Had the city not voted to make this change, property rights voters who waited until election day to cast their ballot would have had
to vote in two different locations-their county precinct and one of the four precincts located inside the city limits. Even those who voted early would have had to go through the line twice-once to vote their county address and once to vote as a property rights voter."
The board's decision to require absentee mail ballots for property rights voters applies only to the November 6 election. Registered voters who live inside the city are not affected by this change. Included in the letter being mailed this week is an application for an absentee ballot.
"If a property rights voter wants to cast a ballot in the referendum, all they have to do is fill out the form included with the letter and mail it back to our office," Stanley said. "Then at the appropriate time we will mail them a ballot for the referendum."
"Remember, this is the only way a property rights voter can cast a ballot in the referendum," Stanley added. "And this in no way affects their voting routine in the county-wide balloting."
Property rights voters are those who live elsewhere in the county but own a minimum amount of property inside the city limits and have registered as a property rights voter.
If you are a city property rights voter and have yet to receive your application, please contact the election commission office at 597-4146. All applications must be returned by October 30th.