There will be little to “wine” about in November as legal wine and liquor measures failed to make the ballot mainly due to people who found it too challenging to read directions.
“There were more than enough signatures,” said election administrator Donna Smith of counting voter signatures on petitions for legal package liquor and wine in grocery stores for the November ballot. “However, most of them couldn’t be counted because they weren’t registered to vote in the city of McMinnville or they weren’t registered to vote at all.”
To make the ballot, the two separate questions needed 335 signatures of registered McMinnville city voters. Only city voters could be counted on the petitions since they would be the ones voting on the measures.
The end result was wine got 232 legal city voter signatures after a late push by Kroger to spearhead a petition drive. Package liquor got 221 legal signatures.
There were approximately 75 pages of signatures asking for the alcohol questions to be put up for referendum. Each page had space for about 10 names, meaning if all the pages were filled there were 750 people who endorsed the idea of legal liquor either by grocery store wine or in package stores.
Smith said election officials spent hours examining names and cross checking them through signature cards. Many of the pages were delivered at deadline last Thursday. In the end, the petition drive fell well short.
“It happens all the time,” said Smith, noting it is normal to have a large amount of ineligible people to sign petitions.