Deadline Today On Petitions For Wine In Groceries Referendum

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The deadline was today (Thursday) at 4 p.m. for communities across the state to deliver petitions with signatures of those who favor allowing grocery stores to sell wine.

If the Election Office receives valid signatures of at least 10 percent of those who voted in the 2010 gubernatorial election, that triggers a referendum in November.

Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said by 10 a.m. four cities had the required number - East Ridge, Lakesite, Red Bank and Signal Mountain.

There were many pages of petitions left to check for the city of Chattanooga and for unincorporated Hamilton County, so it appeared they would reach the goal.

Mr. Steelman said he expected the group Red White And Food to submit more pages of signatures for the various municipalities before the deadline.

As of 10 a.m.:

Chattanooga needed 3,865 and had 1,577 approved

Collegedale needed 185 and had 78 approved

Lookout Mountain needed 94 and had 28 approved

Soddy Daisy needed 333 and had 280 approved

Walden needed 85 and had 5 approved

Hamilton County needed 3,246 and had 896 approved

Ridgeside does not qualify because it has only 390 residents and the requirement is to have as many as the least-populated county in the state (Pickett County with 5,077). 

Mr. Steelman said it has been a laborious process checking out to see if the signatures are of valid voters within the municipality. He said, "We are finding one valid for about every eight or nine checked."

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