By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
ASHLAND – A liquor sales proponent filed official objection Wednesday to a Dec. 18 vote defeating legal liquor sales in the Benton County seat.
Businessman Michael D. Carroll, brother of Ashland Mayor Mitch Carroll, filed the bill of exceptions in the circuit clerk’s office asking for a new election or to carry the issues to court.
Mike Carroll said the document cites numerous alleged irregularities associated with the vote.
Chiefly, he said, issues surround the election’s:
• Voting place, which was the town’s fire hall, but its official voting place is Town Hall.
• Absentee ballots, which listed choices first “against” and second “for,” when the statute calls for the opposite, which was reflected on regular ballots.
The liquor vote was defeated 120-109.
Carroll, represented by Holly Springs attorney Collier Carlton, states the ballot-wording differences also may have resulted in incorrect vote tallies.
“With all these irregularities, we hope they’ll just call a new election,” he said.
The city, which was to receive a copy of the complaint Wednesday, has yet to meet and consider its decision.
Carroll said he believes the voting place was moved so that issue opponents could park wrecked vehicles outside to dramatize their opinions.
However, he said, the adjacent property owner objected and the scheme was not carried out.