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.