Morrow city clerk says town on track to double 2011 voter turnout

MORROW — The early and absentee voting numbers in Morrow’s city council races this year are on track to be higher than the total number of people who voted in the city’s 2011 election, City Clerk Evyonne Browning has confirmed.

Browning said 360 people voted in the election two years ago, where the only race on the ballot was the mayor’s seat. That was the race where Mayor Joseph “J.B.” Burke defeated challenger Jeff DeTar by one vote. Browning said Tuesday night this year’s turnout will likely blow that turnout out of the water.

“There’s already been 90 advance walk-in voters and there’s about 300 absentee ballot applications that have come in and been verified,” said Browning. “Those ballots have been sent out and I’ve already received well over half of them back.”

Browning said that because of the high turnout seen through early and absentee voting, she expects Morrow will have a high overall turnout — possibly twice the 2011 numbers — this year.

DeTar is running against Hang Tran for retiring Councilman Virlyn Slaton’s seat while Randy Anderson and Chris Mills are running for retiring Councilman Bob Huie’s seat.

“Get out the vote” by some of the candidates may be behind the higher turnout this year. Browning didn’t say which candidates were doing it, but she said some of them obtained Morrow’s voter registration list and the list of people who voted two years ago from the Clayton County Elections and Registration Office.

Several absentee ballot applications have been submitted with the applicants information typed in, said Browning. She added the county’s elections office verified the signatures on the applications against the signatures they had on file for the voters.

While the approach may sound suspect, Browning said it can be done.

“It’s not illegal,” she said.