Controversy over wording of Morgan County distillery vote

Controversy over wording of Morgan County distillery vote

Posted:
The referendum passed 2369 for to 1145 against. The referendum passed 2369 for to 1145 against.
In Morgan County, residents voted to allow the distilling of alcohol at the old Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. In Morgan County, residents voted to allow the distilling of alcohol at the old Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary.
Ahead of the results though, some folks felt the way the ballot was worded may have misled people coming in to vote. Ahead of the results though, some folks felt the way the ballot was worded may have misled people coming in to vote.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

WARTBURG (WATE) –  In Morgan County, residents voted to allow the distilling of alcohol at the old Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. 

The referendum passed 2369 for to 1145 against.

Ahead of the results though, some folks felt the way the ballot was worded may have misled people coming in to vote.

It described liquor and alcoholic drinks as "intoxicating".

Some voters felt using the word "intoxicating may have had a negative connotation.

But there were others who felt the ballot was clear and unbiased.

"We need to make some good whiskey and get some people employed," said Morgan County resident Jimmy Jones, about why he voted for the distillery.

The ballot asked voters if the wanted to permit the "manufacture of intoxicating liquors and other intoxicating drinks in Morgan County".

"They could have left intoxicating out," Jones said.

One viewer contacted us on Facebook saying "..that would be like saying "to allow obesity causing cheesecake in Morgan Co. to be manufactured".

Others disagree.

"You have to spell out what they're going to do. If you didn't put down exactly what the motion was for and all of a sudden they said I didn't know it was alcohol, I didn't know it was intoxicating," explained Morgan County resident Bill Podewils, about why he took no issue with the wording.

Morgan County's Administrator of Elections says they did everything by the book.

"The language on the ballot is established with the state election office. We sought referendums to set the ballot in that fashion," said Tim Sweat, Morgan County Administrator of Elections.

He says that, unlike us, he heard no complaints about the wording. There are those who feel the wording may have swayed some votes.

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