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Annexations hang in the balance today

Today, residents of two territories north of Jemison will participate in elections to determine whether or not they should be annexed into the city.

There are two separate elections being held, with separate polling places. Those who live in the Oak Grove community will vote at Oak Grove Baptist Church, while residents of the County Road 151 area will vote in a portable building set up near the intersection of 151 and County Road 768.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

“It’s a lot of work,” said City Clerk Mary Ellison, “especially when you have municipal elections going on and you are trying to work on both at one time.”

Poll workers have worked hard to see that all necessary utilities are available at both polling places. Some workers must show up an hour early this morning to see that everything is in order by 7 o’clock.

What’s more, there are no voting machines, which means that all ballots will be counted by hand.

Even with 100-percent turnout, however, there won’t be as many participants as in municipal elections. There are approximately 180 registered voters in the Oak Grove community, and about 70 voters in the County Road 151 area.

The last time such an election was held, the annexation passed by only one vote. That was in 2001, when residents living near I-65 Exit 219 cast votes at Cedar Springs Church, Ellison recalled.

“We had 60-percent turnout,” she said.

A map of the proposed annexations is available for public viewing at the Office of Probate Judge in the Chilton County Courthouse, during regular business hours.