After months of deliberation, Marshall County residents chose to stay dry yesterday in a vote that drew more than 13,000 people to the polls.
The population has been debating the issue since spring, when a group called Marshall 1st filed a petition to allow alcohol sales within county lines. The results were close, with 6,211 people voting yes while 6,906 voted no, according to uncertified numbers given by the county clerk last night.
Marshall 1st spokesperson Sissy Wommack said she was disappointed that Marshall County still will not be able to collect tax money from liquor sales. She also said her group will not disband, but she did not know if they will file another petition in three years. By law, no one can petition for another vote before that time.
“We’ll have to see how our economy is running in three years before we’ll make a decision at that point. We’ll see in three years if we can bring it back up again," said Womack.
Marshall 1st’s opposing organization, Say No Now, is celebrating. Vice Chair Keith Travis said that while he is pleased that the county failed to turn wet, the election might also have done the area some good.
“Well, I think that the election and this event today has certainly awakened a lot of people in the county to be more engaged, be more involved in the county—know where we’re going, know what we’re doing to ensure that we continue the quality of life that we’ve grown up with. And, sometimes, I think we’ve become complacent with that,” said Travis.
The city of Murray voted on the same issue Tuesday, but experienced the opposite outcome. Murray went wet.