Court Keeps Alcohol Issue off Ballot in Sharp County

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld a lower court decision to keep an initiative allowing alcohol sales in Sharp County off the ballot.

A judge in Sharp County removed the measure from the November ballot, saying that 461 of the submitted signatures weren't valid. After removing those signatures, supporters didn't have enough in their petition to make the ballot.

The state's high court upheld that decision Thursday, saying there was sufficient evidence that some of the signatures were invalid. The court also found that supporter Ruth Reynolds failed to sign 23 pages of signatures in the presence of a notary public, as required.

The ballot measure was backed by the group Save Energy Reap Taxes. Supporters say allowing sales of alcohol would benefit the environment - because motorists wouldn't have to drive as far to buy alcohol - and boost local coffers.