By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
IUKA – As an effort continues to obtain petition signatures to force a beer and alcohol vote in Tishomingo County, the petition’s originator wants to dispel misinformation voters apparently have.
Charles “Tubby” Aldridge said potential petition signers have said – and he has always believed – that the county Board of Supervisors had the authority to put the alcohol vote on the election ballot. However, Aldridge said an official with the Mississippi Tax Commission told him petition signatures are required for an election to be held, and supervisors do not have independent authority to call such an election.
The Mississippi Department of Revenue website provides the following answer to the question “How does a dry county become a wet county for alcoholic beverages?”
“The law provides for local elections to determine whether or not alcoholic beverages will be sold. For alcoholic beverages, a county is dry until an election is made to come out from under prohibition. Upon receipt of a petition signed by at least 20% or 1,500, whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the county, the board of supervisors must call an election for or against the legal sale of alcoholic beverages.
“An election for or against the sale of alcoholic beverages may not be made in any county more than once every two years.”
If a county is already wet, an election also may be called to make it dry by securing the required number of signatures.
In late May, Circuit Clerk Donna Henry Dill estimated that Aldridge needed to gather a total of about 2,690 signatures based on the county’s registered voters at that time and accounting for fluctuations in that number.
Earlier this week Aldridge said he still needed about 800 signatures to reach that goal.