Committee pushing to make Randolph County wet

Committee pushing to make Randolph County wet

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Residents in Randolph County have once again formed a campaign committee that is working to give voters the chance to decide whether alcohol should be sold in the county.

The committee, called Keep REVENUE in Randolph County, began collecting signatures this week.

This is the second time the group has collected signatures on this issue. Their last attempt was in 2013.

They want to get the measure on the November ballot. Supporters believe allowing the sale of beer, wine and spirits in Randolph County would be a major boost to the local economy.

"For decades now, as a 'dry' county, we've been sending tax revenue to surrounding communities and states," said Linda Bowlin, chair of Keep REVENUE in Randolph County.  "We want to keep that money here, where it can help pay for our services like fire and police protection and better roads."

Bowlin said they also think it will be more convenient for residents to shop locally rather than driving out of the county to buy alcohol.

"Plus, the last time the people of Randolph County had an opportunity to vote on this issue was in the early 1950s, well over 60 years ago," Bowlin said.

To be placed on the November ballot, Arkansas law requires the committee to collect valid signatures from 38 percent of the county's registered voters.

That means Keep REVENUE in Randolph County must collect nearly 4,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. They have until early July to turn the signatures into the county clerk.

Pocahontas Mayor Kary Story said he was asked about the effort to allow alcohol sales several times during his campaign for mayor.

"I support the democratic process that allows questions to be legally placed on the ballot," he said. "If the question is legally on the ballot, then it is up to the people to vote and make the decision."

For more information about the campaign, you can visit the committee's Facebook page.

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