New voting laws affect Oneonta wet/dry vote

Oneonta city manager Ed Lowe noted some changes in voting procedures for the city’s upcoming June 3 alcohol legalization vote. Lowe revealed some of the changes at the latest city council meeting. He explained that since the vote is a municipal issue, absentee ballot procedures will be handled at city hall rather than the county courthouse for the alcohol option portion of that day’s election. One would still need to go to the courthouse to obtain an absentee ballot for the party primary votes on that day.

In addition to that change, state law now requires voters to provide photographic identification issued by a governmental entity or private college/university. Absentee ballots may be picked up at city hall. Lowe explained that ballots may still, however, be returned my mail but a copy of the voter’s photo ID must be included in the envelope.

Questioned later, Lowe noted that absentee procedures will require two witnesses or a notary seal to complete the vote. State law lists six permissible reasons for citizens to vote absentee.

Absentee applications are available through May 29 and June 3 (by 12 noon) is the final day for them to be returned.

In other action at the city council’s unusually brief session, members agreed to purchase a new 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe at an approximate $3,800 savings rather than await a 2015 as had been previously planned. The purchase price off the state bid list and through Capitol Chevrolet in Montgomery is $26,617.20.

All members (Mayor Ross Norris and councilors Hal Blackwood, Mark Gargus, Tim McNair, Danny Robinson and Tonya Rogers) attended the April 22 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.