East Ridge has collected the required number of valid signatures on its local petition to determine whether wine can be sold in its retail food stores.
The Hamilton County Election Commission notified Red White and Food that the required number of signatures have been turned in and verified for East Ridge.
The election commission previously notified the campaign that Lakesite and Red Bank had collected their required numbers; once it officially approves the ballot measure, residents in each municipality will be able to vote on the sale of wine in retail food stores on the November ballot.
With this Thursday as 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 now. These eligible cities include Chattanooga, Collegedale, Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, Soddy Daisy, Walden and the unincorporated area of Hamilton County.
“We are grateful to all of the East Ridge residents who took the time to sign the petition,” said Susie Alcorn, Red White and Food campaign manager. “Time is running out for us to gather enough signatures in the remaining eligible cities that have active petition drives, and we encourage all registered voters to sign their community’s petition as soon as possible.”
Officials said, "Collecting the necessary number of valid signatures that will meet the approval of the election commissions is no easy task. Red White and Food recommends that everyone interested in signing their local petition bring their voter registration card with them to verify that they sign correctly. They should also make sure they live within the city limits of the municipality for the petition they are signing."
To get the wine referendum on the ballot, petitions in eligible communities – those that already allow liquor by the drink, liquor stores or both – must be submitted 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 the close of business Thursday, Aug. 21.
Residents who have not already signed should plan to do so by noon on Thursday, at which time Red White and Food staff and partners will submit remaining petitions to the election commissions.
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.