Organizers claim to have enough signatures
Those wanting to vote on legalized alcohol sales in the city of Hartselle are closer than ever to seeing that day become reality.
Alabama law stipulates 25 percent of those voting in the last municipal election must sign a petition calling for the referendum. Three thousand one hundred and ninety three people voted in the last Hartselle's mayoral race and 25 percent of that number is 799.
Organizers said they currently have more than 900 signatures on the petitions calling for a vote on whether to turn the city wet.
"I knew it was getting close," Mayor Clif Knight said.
Knight said once the necessary number of signatures are collected, the city council will vote to send them to the probate judge for verification. The probate judge will verify the signatures and, if they meet all the regulations, certify the petitions. The matter will then go back to the city council, which will vote on whether to hold a referendum on legalized alcohol sales.
While Knight said he isn't in favor of legalized alcohol sales in Hartselle, he would support the matter going to a vote on the public.
"Thats part of the process," he said. "As long as the process has been followed according to the law, Id have no problem with letting the people vote."
If the matter does go to a vote, it will be the first time Hartselle residents have voted on whether the city should go wet. Some 25 years ago, a county-wide referendum on alcohol sales was soundly defeated. The city of Decatur later voted to approve alcohol sales, using a law that allows cities of more than 5,000 residents located in dry counties to approve in-city sales.