Westside voters said no to annexation Tuesday. Of 109 votes cast in two precincts, six voted yes and 103 voted no. For the referendum for Sunday package sales of alcohol, 298 Hinesville voters cast their votes, with 190 voting for the referendum and 108 voting no.
Hinesville’s special-election referendums were reported in the Courier several times since July when the city held its annual workshop. At that time, several city councilmen said they supported the alcohol referendum because they had received so many requests from residents and business owners.
City Manager Billy Edwards said passing the referendum wouldn’t automatically make alcohol package sales on Sunday legal in Hinesville. The city council first has to agree to write and pass a new city ordinance to govern alcohol sales. The consensus among council members at the workshop in July when the referendum was proposed was that they’d approve an ordinance governing Sunday sales of package alcohol.
Voter turnout was light for Tuesday’s elections in Hinesville and Midway. By 1:30 p.m., Carolyn Lovins, poll manager for Hinesville’s Referendum No. 2 (annexation of the city’s west side), said voting had been slow since the polls opened at 7 a.m.
“It’s been very slow all day,” Lovins said. “We’ve seen 19 people so far. I’m not sure, but I don’t think it was publicized enough. We have two areas we’re dealing with — one near Gum Branch and one near Walthourville. We haven’t had anyone from the Walthourville side all day.”
A half hour later, Lovins said four more voters had come in.
Turnout for Hinesville’s Referendum No. 1, Sunday sales of package alcohol, was slightly better. Poll manager LaFayne H. May, however, thought turnout still was light. By 1:45 p.m., they had seen 94 voters.
“It picked up a little during and right after lunch,” May said. “Maybe it’ll pick up again this afternoon as people get off work.”
May, who said she’s worked with the board of elections more years than she can remember, is retired from the Liberty County School System, where she taught second and third grade, then served as a principal.
“We’ve only had two people we’ve had to turn away,” poll worker Retha Standard said. “I think a lot of it is because it wasn’t advertised enough.”