Legal liquor is so close to getting on the ballot, proponents can taste it. The question is a scant 37 signatures from being part of the November election.
“I think they will make it since they have another three months to get it done,” said election administrator Donna Smith of the Aug. 25 deadline.
Legal package liquor must have 227 signatures of registered city voters in McMinnville by the deadline to get on the Nov. 8 ballot. It presently has 190 who have signed the petitions being circulated at many area businesses.
The measure has failed to get on the ballot during the last two elections when it could have been voted on. The last time McMinnville voted on package liquor, in 2010, it failed by 200 votes. McMinnville has had liquor by the drink since 2002.
All surrounding counties presently permit package liquor sales. DeKalb and White counties were the most recent to permit package liquor, passing it in 2014. The counties permitting package liquor sales that border Warren County now include Coffee, DeKalb, White, Grundy, Sequatchie, Van Buren and Cannon.
Smith reiterated that only registered city voters may sign the petition. Voters who are not registered, or who live outside the McMinnville city limits, will not count as part of the petition.
Smith also pointed out she has been contacted by a group interested in getting “Wine in Grocery Stores” on the McMinnville ballot this November. The wine issue also failed to get enough signatures two years ago. The measure would allow grocery stores to sell wine.
The issue is separate from the package liquor question and would be voted on separately on the November ballot if it should get enough signatures. Smith said she has yet to see any signatures concerning the wine question.