AMORY – Registered Amory voters will decide Dec. 10 whether or not the sale, distribution, and possession of alcohol will be legal in the city.
More specifically, voters will weigh in on two separate propositions on one ballot. Proposition 1 will give voters the opportunity to vote for or against beer and light wine. Proposition 2 will give voters the opportunity to vote for or against alcoholic liquors. This means voters have the option of voting for both, against both, or for one and against another.
Mayor Brad Blalock urges residents to show up to vote, and to mind their manners.
“In reference to our upcoming alcohol referendum [election], I would like to urge everyone to maintain civility and respect for one another through this process. As was the case five years ago, we, as active, registered voters are faced with making a choice through our individual votes. There are opinions on both sides of this issue, and I would presume even differing opinions within each major side of the issue.
“I would urge us all to go to the polls on December 10 to vote as individuals and make our opinions known through the constitutional- and blood-bought privilege of voting. Let us not be divisive, let us not shame one another for our opinion(s), let us not do anything that would ruin our friendships, or our ethics based on wanting or not wanting something so badly we lose sight that we all want Amory to continue to be great and get even greater. Just vote. Each person’s feelings and opinions are just that, theirs, and they have just as much blood-bought right to vote their conviction as do you and I. May we all strive to work together, regardless of the outcome of this vote or any other because at the end of the day we are all we have,” Blalock said.
Polls will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at the National Guard Old Armory, located alongside 9th St. S. Anyone waiting in line at 7 p.m. is still entitled to vote. Polls for each ward will be separate, and greeters will be available to help voters find their ward.
Parking around the National Guard Old Armory will be limited to 30 minutes.
“Some people will need access to a closer spot than others, and those spots should be available. Also, we shouldn’t impede anyone’s right to vote by holding parking spots,” said city clerk Jamie Morgan.
To participate, a person must live within the Amory city limits and be an active registered voter. If you have water or electricity service through the City of Amory but do not live inside the city limits, you are not able to vote in this election.
Morgan wants to stress the importance of making sure potential voters are properly registered and all information is updated before the day of the special election.
“If you’ve moved, changed your last name or if you’re not sure if you’re an active voter, call us and we’ll check for you,” Morgan said.
People must bring a valid form of identification to vote.
If voting by an absentee ballot, please note the deadline to return absentee ballots by mail is Dec. 9 by 5 p.m. If you get an absentee ballot by mail, it must be returned by mail. If you vote absentee in person at the city clerk’s office, the last day to do so is Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. until noon. Morgan said curbside service will be available for all voting.
“If you are a disabled voter, please call the city clerk’s office when you arrive, and we will gladly come outside to your vehicle to assist in your absentee voting through Dec. 7 until noon,” Morgan said.
Morgan also wants to assure voters that their votes will remain anonymous.
“Whether you vote absentee or you vote in person, records will only show you voted – not how. That is not recorded anywhere.”
Should one or both propositions pass, an ordinance will need to be created to administer the sale, distribution and transportation of alcohol within the city limits. The board of aldermen would then have to schedule a public hearing, which would be advertised for two weeks prior. After the public hearing, and if the board passes the ordinance, it will take effect after 30 days.
The upcoming referendum is the second time Amory citizens have voted on the alcohol issue in recent years. Efforts to legalize the sale of beer, light wine and liquor failed by a slim margin in the 2014 special election. State law mandates a five-year span between liquor elections and a two-year span for beer and light wine.
For more information about the special election, call the city clerk’s office at 256-5721 (option 8).