The group promoting a local option election reports on its website and the Magnolia Reporter confirms with an official source that enough signatures have been gathered to have an election in November on alcohol sales in Columbia County.
The group, Vote for Growth in Columbia County, started work in January and needed almost 5,000 signatures. About 8,000 were turned in. The county clerk certified, the Reporter says, that a sufficient number were those of registered voters.
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Local option drives continue in Saline, Craighead and Faulkner counties. Also, a separate ballot initiative could call for a statewide vote on uniform state law governing alcohol sales in all 75 counties. Additional signatures are being sought for that effort. Polling on that issue was reported last night around Arkansas, perhaps a sign of confidence that the drive will be successful.
Local option elections require signatures from 38 percent of a jurisdiction’s registered voters. It’s a high standard and was passed by legislators hoping to limit alcohol sales. But paid canvassers and the occasional big investment by retailers hoping to get additional business have propelled successful drives in several places in Arkansas.