Liquor election sought for precinct 4

By Brandon Evans | Published Wednesday, July 24, 2013

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The owners of a convenience store in southwest Wise County hope to make that corner of the county “wet” – and that has nothing to do with rainfall.

This week, they began the petition process to seek an open liquor election in November.

If the election makes the ballot, voters in Precinct 4 could approve the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only.

But before then, those pushing for the vote must do a lot of leg-work.

“First they have to complete an application for the petitioning,” said Wise County elections administrator Lannie Noble.

Part of the application includes obtaining the signatures of 10 registered and verifiable voters in Precinct 4. The next step is garnering enough signatures on the petition itself.

The petition needs enough signatures to total 35 percent of all those who voted in last gubernatorial election. That means if 5,000 people from Precinct 4 cast a ballot, at least 1,750 signatures would be required.

Those signers all have to be verifiable registered voters from Precinct 4, and all within a 60-day window. After that, the county commissioners court must approve putting the measure on the ballot.

The election would not apply to the cities of Bridgeport and Runaway Bay, both of which have already approved open liquor elections. It would only affect unincorporated areas within Precinct 4 – all the areas outside those cities.

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