A group of Southwest Arkansas residents is petitioning leaders to change the way city hall is governed.
The city of Hope, Ark., will not be changing its form of government.
Complete but unofficial results of an election Tuesday show voters almost evenly split on the issue.
The count was 377, or 51 percent, against and 358, or 49 percent, for the change, the Hempstead County clerk's office reports.
Early and absentee voting accounted for 134 votes against and 84 for.
The group Citizens for Change Hope, Arkansas had been petitioning for voters to put an end to Hope's city manager form of government.
Under the present form of government, a professional manager supervises city departments and answers to the mayor and Board of Directors.
The mayor is appointed by the board, not elected by voters.
The city has operated under that form of government since 1958.
If voters had approved the proposal, they would have gone back to the polls later this year to elect a mayor and city council members.
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