More signatures collected in wet/dry debate - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

More signatures collected in wet/dry debate

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Campaigns are brewing across the state to make liquor flow freely. 

There are currently groups trying to gather enough signatures to end dry counties statewide and in Craighead and Independence counties. 

If they obtain enough signatures, the wet/dry issue will be added to the November 2014 ballot.

"I'm against it," Craighead County resident Thomas Hood said. "Against making the counties wet."

The Our Community, Our Dollars' committee, responsible for collecting Craighead County signatures, still needs about 10,000 registered voters to sign by July 6.

However, Hood will not be one of them.

"This would just add to the problems so I'd have to be against it," Hood said. "I have convictions about it, Christian convictions about alcohol and I don't think it would be good for our county."

Hood said he will also not sign his name to any petition that would make liquor flow freely statewide. According to the Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin's office, to put this issue on the November ballot, the state needs a total of 78,133 signatures by July 7.

One Poinsett County resident said she would sign.

"I don't believe in drinking," Poinsett County resident Alma Neal said. "I don't drink. But you might as well have it wet because they're just going to go to another county and get it."

Neal said she sees this happen all the time.

"These people are going to drive to Marked Tree and drive back to Jonesboro, they're going to be drinking that beer on the way back and I don't like seeing it on the road," Neal said. "Keep it here where they'll stay here. Maybe they'll go home and drink it and keep it off the roads."

Another resident of a wet county not only wants the people to stay in state, but also the money.

"The money's gonna go some place," Jackson County resident Sue Roberts said. "It's gonna go across the line like our lottery did. Our lottery's helped the school kids so that's what it takes."

Roberts thinks turning the entire state wet could have a similar impact.

"If they get sales tax and everything, it goes to our counties," Roberts said. "The money stays where it needs to go."

Independence County needs a total of 8,000 signatures. Wet or Dry, Let's Decide organization members said they did not know how many they currently had, but will count them up Tuesday night at their regular weekly meeting.

Their deadline is July 6.

Six counties have voted to go wet in the past seven years.

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