By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
ONEONTA — Blount County voters narrowly defeated an ballot measure that would allow legalization of alcohol sales throughout the county.
The county probate judge's office says that when all the votes were counted Tuesday night, 11,427 were cast in favor of legalization, and 11,587 against — a margin of 160 votes, or seven-tenths of a percentage point.
"As far as I can tell, we don't have enough provisional votes cast to change the outcome," said Vicki McCay, the administrative assistant to Probate Judge Chris Green. (Green was elected to the post as well yesterday, after being appointed to replace David Standridge, who stepped down to run for a vacant seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. Green was unopposed in the election.)
McCay said there is no provision in county ordinances for an automatic recount if the margin of victory falls under a certain percentage.
Some voters in the Hayden area had earlier claimed that their names were fraudulently added to petitions seeking the referendum.
The results are still unofficial, and will remain so until the provisional ballots are dealt with in about a week.