Board gets petition calling for liquor vote

Supervisors were presented a petition of 1548 signatures of qualified county voters asking for the question of legal liquor sales to be placed on the November general election ballot.
Jeremy Holmes presented the petition, which he said has been verified by the circuit clerk’s office. Holmes said the petition was turned in with 1995 names and that 447 were rejected as not being registered voters, duplicate signatures or some other reason.
According to state law to put the choice to voters and place the issue on the ballot a county has to present a petition to the board of supervisors containing 1500 valid names or 20% of the registered voters, whichever is lower.
The board accepted the petition contingent on the proper paperwork having been filed with the circuit clerk.
Holmes reminded the board, and Kurt Mord, representing the county’s attorney, Mord Law Firm, of a requirement to place a notice in the local newspaper.
Holmes told the board he plans to return at the board’s recessed meeting at mid-month to present a petition calling for the legal sale of beer and light wine in the county’s borders. Mississippi law governs alcohol sales by two separate statutes. Sale of liquor is handled as one issue, while the sale of beer and light wine is handled as a separate issue. While it seems odd, fewer signatures are required to place liquor on the ballot compared to beer.
Holmes said the intent of petitioners is to get signatures of at least 2500 voters on the petition. The required number is based on a percentage of qualified voters. For Walthall County that number is approximately 2016 signers that must be verified by the circuit clerk.
If successful, the group will go through the same procedure, presenting the petition to the board calling for placement of the question of legal beer sales on the November ballot.
Board president Larry Montgomery pointed out that if the issues pass, the board of supervisors would pass an ordinance governing how alcoholic products can be sold. There are a number of options including package sales only, by the drink in conjunction with a meal at a restaurant and other scenarios.

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