Monday, November 4, 2013
© Copyright 2014
Clayton News Daily
MORROW — The City of Morrow had so many votes cast in this year’s city council election that officials were still counting the ballots late into the night.
By 10 p.m. Tuesday, there were still no officials results. However, City Manager Jeff Eady said the unofficial results showed Hang Tran beat Jeff DeTar 352 to 180, while Chris Mills beat Randy Anderson 302 to 205. If the results are confirmed, Tran would likely be the first Vietnamese council member in Morrow history, and Mills would be its second African-American member.
City Clerk Evyonne Browning said earlier in the day that elections staff would be counting ballots twice before they announced results so they could make sure they had an accurate count.
By 6 p.m., about 290 people had cast ballots at the polls, and about 400 people had cast absentee and early ballots, Browning said.
Regardless of who won, the election will mark a change for a city that — for a long time — didn’t even have elections because no one would run against incumbents. Half of the four-member council will change hands with council members Bob Hui and Virlyn Slaton choosing to retire at the end of the year.
The city’s voters also made a decision on package sales of malt alcoholic beverages on Sundays within city limits. Eady said the unofficial results for the referendum showed residents approved the alcohol sales 332 to 185.
The Sunday alcohol sales movement swept through Georgia two years ago when the state began allowing communities to decide whether they would allow package sales of alcohol on Sundays. In a four-month span from November 2011 until March 2012, voters in six of Clayton County’s seven cities had already approved the sales.
Morrow was the only city to not have a referendum on the ballot.
Voters across the county then voted a year ago to approve Sunday alcohol sales in unincorporated areas of the county. That left Morrow as the lone hold out on the issue, and city leaders began contemplating a referendum for Tuesday’s ballot.