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Liquor Referendum may be on Chester County Ballot

By Joe Sullivan
By jsullivan@wbbjtv.com

HENDERSON, Tenn. - A petition to put a liquor referendum on the November ballot in Chester County is making the rounds.

The petition has 43 signatures verified as of Wednesday. It needs 117 signatures to place a liquor store question on the ballot.

If enough signatures are obtained, voters in Henderson will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not the city should allow a store to sell packaged liquor for off premises consumption.

Tanya Patterson is the organizer of the petition. She said she is confident she will have enough signatures to put the matter on the ballot next week. That's several weeks ahead of the September 7 deadline.

"If you are a drinker or want to buy a bottle of wine you have to go to Jackson or other surrounding areas to buy it. That means all our tax money stays in that county," said Patterson.

A liquor referendum has not been on the ballot in Henderson since the 1970's.

Not everyone wants to see liquor stores in Henderson. A church official at First Baptist Church said, "That is a terrible idea. It would see an increase in underage drinking."

Henderson has 3,460 registered voters. Michele White, Administrator of Elections for Chester County, said, "It's an unprecedented time in Chester County because bottom line I think people are taking an active role in the process of how local government is being run."