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'Wet' county initiative stalls — Our Community, Our Dollars throws in towel in Faulkner County

Posted: July 31, 2014 - 4:54pm

 

Efforts have been abandoned to gather signatures from 38 percent of Faulkner County’s registered voters to put a “wet” initiative on the ballot. 

 

Our Community, Our Dollars, the committee behind the effort to allow liquor stores in Faulkner, Saline and Craighead counties, made the announcement that there were enough signatures gathered in Saline County, but Faulkner and Craighead counties don’t have enough to realistically pass the 38-percent-of-registered-voters bar to put the initiative on the ballot.

 

“Given the strong support we have received from voters in both of these counties during the last several months of gathering signatures, we greatly regret that they will not have the opportunity to decide this issue through the democratic process,” Our Community, Our Dollars chairman Jay Allen states in the release. “It has been decades since voters in these counties have had such an opportunity.”

 

The last ‘wet’ initiative in Faulkner County was in 1976, and it was voted down.

Below is the full press release: 

We just received word from the County Clerk’s office in Saline County that we have turned in a significant amount of signatures - enough to put the wet/dry issue on the ballot in that county. Assuming the issue ultimately makes the ballot, we will now focus our attention on encouraging Saline County residents to get out and vote in support of turning Saline from dry to wet. There are significant economic benefits to this change, and we’re looking forward to continuing to educate residents about the issue.

Effective today, the Our Community, Our Dollars ballot question committee will no longer pursue our initiatives in Craighead and Faulkner counties to provide voters there an opportunity to vote on whether the counties should be wet or dry. Given the strong support we have received from voters in both of these counties during the last several months of gathering signatures, we greatly regret that they will not have the opportunity to decide this issue through the democratic process. It has been decades since voters in these counties have had such an opportunity.

However, given where we stand today on the requirement that 38 percent of voters in each county must sign a petition to place this matter on the ballot, we have decided to discontinue our efforts in Faulkner and Craighead.

Members of Our Community, Our Dollars operate key businesses and employ more than 2,500 people in Faulkner and Craighead counties. Ultimately, these companies desire for all the communities they serve to grow and prosper, and to offer an outstanding quality of life for their individual citizens. They will continue their missions of being strong corporate partners in the many communities they serve.

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MargaretC
15
Points
MargaretC 08/01/14 - 09:08 am
5
4
Why not a vote?

It is such a shame that some individuals in our county believe that they have the right to make decisions for all of us. In a democracy, the vote is the most important, not the dogmatic beliefs of a few fanatics. Conway could be an even better place to live, but it is stuck as a place where a few still succeed in controling the many. There are clearly folks who do not want Conway to become better as it grows since they might loose their traditional choke hold. It is sad that they have garnered so many unwitting and uninformed followers. Clearly a vote scares them.

c'mon man
1169
Points
c'mon man 08/04/14 - 11:00 am
1
0
A few questions

Since everyone in the county had an opportunity to sign those petitions, how are a few people making decisions for everyone?

For someone who simply decided not to sign the petition, is that person making a decision for everyone else?

Why are you mad at a few people who voiced their opinions on the subject? Shouldn't you be mad at the system for requiring so many signatures?

And the question I really want to know the answer to...How is selling alcohol in liquor stores and grocery stores going to make Faulkner County a better place to live? Folks who need alcohol to be happy should start attending meetings. I know, I know, going to AA is for quitters. :)

I know this is a crazy idea and I'm just throwing it out there, but maybe the majority of the voters of Faulkner County don't want liquor stores. If the majority wanted them, it seems like there would have been enough signatures to get it on the ballot...especially since the number of signatures is much less than a majority of the voters.

Citizen of Conway
196
Points
Citizen of Conway 08/01/14 - 10:08 am
7
0
Vote

The fact is that the failure to even gain the signature to put the issue on the ballot is a good indication of how the vote would turn out. I am surprised that they didn't get the number needed, I guess the Tab-lidites ran out of different ways to sign their name.

BigDaddyD
682
Points
BigDaddyD 08/01/14 - 10:14 am
5
2
"38-percent-of-registered-voters bar"

Another victory for Lake Liquor!

Seriously, what is the typical turnout of registered voters in terms of percentage for an election? 50%? 40%? 38% seems to be too large a number for a petition drive. Is this percentage the same for all proposed ballot measures or only for wet-dry votes?

How many registered voters are now registered outside of Faulkner County or Craighead County (college students for example)?

Things to ponder.

arkansan
1067
Points
arkansan 08/01/14 - 11:54 am
6
1
"victory for Lake Liquor"

Yup.
Lake Liquor(Bevans Family) spent $75,000 and Conway County Legal Beverage Association spent $125,000 in Faulkner county to fight our right to choose. And they say "Let the free market decide things!".

I have decided not to choose their establishment anymore for future purchases. They won't get anymore of my money, so they use it against me. I'm done with Lake Liquor.

sag1220
17
Points
sag1220 08/01/14 - 10:58 am
2
0
never saw a petition

I lived in Faulkner county and I Never saw a petition to sign to put it on a ballot. You did not do a good job to get it out to the residence of the county. I heard that there was one at Wal Mart in Conway. Well we all don't go to Wal Mart in Conway. I live closer to White. Lonoke and Pulaski counties. Nobody was at this end of Faulkner. I would of signed it.

mikeng1994
11693
Points
mikeng1994 08/03/14 - 09:19 am
1
0
This is probably the best

This is probably the best point made here. With the petitions only at Wal Mart and Come n Go they missed out. I live in northern Faulkner county and none of the towns up here has petitions to sign. It's almost like they expected Conway to carry the load.

conwaygerl
5934
Points
conwaygerl 08/01/14 - 11:19 am
3
2
Don't blame me

I signed several of the petitions. It should be voted on.

conwaygerl
5934
Points
conwaygerl 08/03/14 - 09:32 pm
1
1
Wow

You really think they look at all those names?

That's cute.

arkansan
1067
Points
arkansan 08/03/14 - 09:58 pm
2
0
Yes

Within 30 days of receiving petition signatures, the Arkansas Secretary of State verifies each signature up to 110% of the required number. Prior to counting, the Secretary removes any individual petitions that are formally deficient. If any individual petition appears, beyond a reasonable doubt, to contain 20% or more dubious signatures, initiative sponsors are then responsible for proving which of the signatures are valid. If the petition fails to meet the signature requirement, petitioners have 30 days to collect additional signatures or demonstrate that rejected signatures are valid.

http://ballotpedia.org/Laws_governing_the_initiative_process_in_Arkansas

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