By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
IUKA – The final tally of affidavit ballots in the Tishomingo County special election brought the county out from under the state’s dry law and legalized the sale of liquor, beer and wine in the county.
After reviewing 69 affidavit ballots – not the 67 originally mentioned by the circuit clerk – the county election commission approved 53 ballots to be counted, while 16 were disqualified.
Tuesday’s count of machine and absentee ballots gave supporters of coming out from under the dry laws a narrow victory, and Wednesday’s affidavit vote count increased the margin on each of the two measures.
In the referendum on alcoholic liquors, 35 votes for approval and 12 votes against were added to previous totals of 3,232 for and 3,213 against, for final, but unofficial, totals of 3,267 for and 3,225 against, a victory of 42 votes.
The referendum on beer and light wine resulted in 40 affidavit ballots cast for and 11 against, added to previous totals of 3,219 for and 3,175 against, for final totals of 3,259 for and 3,186 against, a win by 73 votes.
“I just thank the people of Tishomingo County who did vote to take the county wet and help us move our economy forward,” said Charles “Tubby” Aldridge, who almost singlehandedly pushed for petition signatures to force the election. “I also want to tell all the kids that just because you have a little handicap – I can’t read or write – don’t let that stand in your way. I want everybody to get a good education, but even if you don’t you can do anything you put your mind to.”
County attorney Philip Whitehead will be asked to review state law and guidelines to determine what the next steps will be in implementing necessary ordinances and any deadlines that must be met, said Board of Supervisors President Nicky McRae.
It’s unlikely Whitehead would have information to present to the board before the next regular meeting on June 3, he said.