Two Hamilton County cities, Lakesite and Red Bank, have collected the required number of valid signatures on local petitions to determine whether wine can be sold in their communities’ retail food stores, and efforts continue for other localities, including Chattanooga.
The Hamilton County Election Commission notified Red White and Food that the required number of signatures have been turned in and verified for Lakesite and Red Bank. Once the election commission officially approves the ballot measures, residents in each city will be able to vote on the sale of wine in retail food stores on the November ballot.
With only about a week before the deadline to submit petitions for a Nov. 4, wine referendum, Red White and Food is urging registered voters in the surrounding eligible cities to sign the local petition. These include Chattanooga, Collegedale, East Ridge, Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, Soddy Daisy, Walden and the unincorporated area of Hamilton County.
“Red White and Food is pleased that Lakesite and Red Bank residents will have the opportunity to vote on the wine in retail food stores referendum,” said Susie Alcorn, Red White and Food campaign manager. “Time is running out for us to gather enough signatures in the remaining eligible cities in Hamilton County, and we encourage all registered voters to sign their local petitions.”
Organizers said collecting the necessary number of valid signatures that will meet the approval of the election commission is no easy task. Red White and Food recommends that everyone interested in signing the local petition bring their voter registration card with them to verify that they sign correctly.
To get the wine referendum on the ballot, eligible communities – those that already allow liquor-by-the-drink, liquor stores or both – must submit these petitions to the local election commissions with at least as many signatures as would equal 10 percent of their residents who voted in the last gubernatorial election. The petitions must be completed and shared with the local election commissions by next Thursday. The election commissions must review and verify these signatures before they count toward the official totals.
Red White and Food is working with retail partners – including BI-LO, Cash Saver, Food City, Food Lion, H.G. Hill, Kroger, Publix and Superlo Foods – to facilitate the petition drive in eligible communities across the state.