By William Moore
IUKA – Tishomingo County voters will get a chance later this year to decide if they want to reverse a 2013 vote that legalized liquor.
In May 2013, voters in the countywide election approved both liquor and beer by very slim margins. Alcohol opponents vowed to hold another election as soon as possible to make Tishomingo County dry again. State law says liquor referendums can only be held every two years.
The Coalition for a Dry Tishomingo County has enough signatures on a petition to force a referendum.
“Right now, we have 1,631 signatures and we only need 1,500 to trigger an election,” said coalition member Tony Curtis. “We have already presented them to Circuit Clerk Donna Dill and she has certified them.”
The coalition will now have to decide when to present its petition to the Board of Supervisors, who will in turn set a date for a special election.
“The election has to be within 60 days of the day they present the petition,” said Board of Supervisors president Nicky McRae. “It looks like the coalition is going to wait until September to turn in the petition so the vote can be on the same day as the November general election.
“If they do, it would help the county out. We could save close to $14,000 if we can have it at the same time as another election.”
Since the last liquor referendum passed by just 42 votes, 3,267-3,225, both sides of the issue will soon begin campaigning and trying to get out the vote.
“We had several people say they didn’t vote,” Curtis said about the 2013 election. “We took it for granted and felt it could never come in here.
“We want to make sure we win this election.”
The coalition has also vowed to take on the sale of beer in Tishomingo County as well, but that petition drive will have to wait until 2018. Beer referendums can only be held every five years.