‘YES’ to Alcohol Sales in Russell County
‘YES’ TO ALCOHOL SALES
By a final tally of 3,833 – 3,423, or a 410 vote margin, voters in Russell County voted to go “wet” following an historic special countywide local option election regarding alcohol sales on Tuesday. A total of 7,256 voters went to the polls, or a 52 percent voter turnout, according to Deputy Clerk Ruth Hill with the Russell County Circuit Clerk’s office, who commended her office workers as well as poll workers on a job well done.
Votes were counted by the local board of elections on Tuesday evening, just after the polls closed at 6 p.m. “I wish more people would get involved in other elections like they did this election,” Hill said. “We need more involvement.” County and city leaders in Russell County will soon meet on how to prepare for issuing liquor licenses and how to deal with the revenue. The law will take affect in approximately two months. “It is a success for the people of Russell County and for a brighter future,” said Tony Brummett, chairman of Revive Russell, the group behind the “yes” who gathered the necessary signatures for an election.
A petition with nearly 3,000 signatures was filed to the county clerk’s office in November of last year and was certified by County Clerk Sue Poppelwell Brockman before Judge-Executive Gary Robertson set the election date for Tuesday. “We now need everyone to come together and get behind this proposal,” Brummett said. “We need the churches, who are so passionate in their beliefs; they are the cornerstone of our community and we need them to join us to work to implement this in a responsible way. We need our teachers, our law enforcement officers, our elected officials all to join in because it takes everyone working together to truly better the community.”
Brummett thanked all Revive Russell’s supporters and volunteers for all their hard work. “I would like to thank all of our opponents and the passion they exhibited in this campaign because we need viewpoints from both sides to move this county forward.” Bro. Rick Neff, chairman of Citizens for Positive Family Values who backed the “no” vote said he was disappointed in the election’s outcome. “It is a sad day for us because we are so concerned about the families of Russell County,” Neff said.
“We can only hope that the promises of Revive Russell will bring the proposed benefit package of more jobs, we’ll just have to wait and see.” Neff said folks would be waiting anxiously to see the promises made by the “yes” side fulfilled.
As of January 15, there were 13,870 voters registered in Russell County with 2,949 of those being Democrat, 10,310 being Republican, 314 listed as other, 276 listed as Independent, 18 listed as Libertarian, one listed as Green Party and two listed as Reform Party. Of the 13,870 registered, 6,645 are male and 7,224 are female, according to the most recent state board of elections’ voter registration statistics report.
This is the second time in the last 25 years that citizens have voted countywide on the issue that finally won out this time by 410 votes. In March of 1992 the vote was 4,520 “no” to 2,288 “yes”, with only one precinct voting “yes” as the Lake precinct had 269 yes votes to 244 no votes.