Citizens who own property in Woodbury but live outside the city limits will have to continue to vote at either two different polling places or by absentee/paper ballot if they opt to participate in both the general and city elections.
An ordinance that would have permitted Woodbury nonresident property owners to vote by absentee or early voting in the city election failed for lack of motion during the September Town of Woodbury Mayor and Aldermen meeting Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The ordinance, which passed on first reading at a special meeting in August, would have required nonresident property owners to whom wish to vote in the City election to vote by absentee (paper) ballot only. The ordinance would have only applied to the City election ballot and nonresident property owners would still
be required to vote on all other matters on the ballot as usual, either by early voting, voting at their assigned precinct poll or by absentee ballot.
"We want to make it as easy as we can for those nonresident property owners to vote and I don't know how that is," Woodbury Mayor Harold Patrick said. "The election commission has already identified the persons affected and there are 65 of them out there. If you are a property owner (in Woodbury) and you live in Woodland you still have to register to vote in the city election."
Alderman Charlie Harrell pointed out that adopting such an ordinance would limit nonresident voters with one option as opposed to the three they now have.
"I feel like we leave them with three options," Harrell said. "It has always been that way and we have had no problems with it according to the last two Administrator of Elections we have had. Why remove two of the three options? If this passes you have to vote by absentee or paper ballot only."
Patrick said the discussion was brought forth due to a law passed in the legislature in July. He said red flags were going up because a person would vote in, for example, the Woodland precinct for the general election and then travel to Woodbury to vote in the city election only to be told, by poll workers, they already had voted and could not vote twice. Nonresident property owners who opted to vote early
could do so at the Election Commission Office; however, they would be in one line for the general election and then another line for the city election.The ordinance failed for lack of a motion following a public hearing to discuss options.