Ballot Issue #4: Alcohol Sales
Voters will see two citizen-initiated referendums on the November ballot. One citizen-initiated measure is Issue #4 that Legalizes the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcohol statewide (the “wet Arkansas” bill).
This is another highly contested issue that many feel should have been settled county-by-county; pro-alcohol activists leveraged financial backing from Wal-Mart and Kum and Go stores (who, of course, will benefit greatly from such sales) as well as paid signature gathering firms to reach the petition signature threshold.
Arkansas is now about half wet/half dry (37 counties dry vs. 38 wet or mixed, where some municipalities within a wet county may be dry), and is one of only ten states that allows dry counties.
Opponents Let Local Communities Decide For Themselves filed suit to block the issue, saying the Secretary of State’s office wrongly extended a deadline for collecting petition signatures; however, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled against them this week, which cleared the way for the item to remain on the November ballot.
Opponents say, if the measure passes, public safety will be negatively impacted and local communities will lose their ability to decide this issue for themselves, while proponents tout the increased tax revenue and jobs that would be created.
How will YOU vote on Issue #4?