ROGERSVILLE — There were twice as many signatures than were needed on the petition seeking a Hawkins County liquor by the drink referendum, but less than half of them were deemed to be valid.
As a result, the petition fell 69 signatures short of the 931 needed to get the question on the ballot for the Nov. 6 election.
Although the countywide referendum petition failed, that won’t affect the Mount Carmel, Church Hill and Rogersville petitions, which have already been checked and approved by the Hawkins County Election Office.
Voters in those three cities will decide if liquor by the drink will be legalized, and Rogersville voters will additionally decide a separate question of allowing package stores to operate in that city.
Supporters of the liquor by the drink referendums are hoping approval will help lure restaurant chains into their communities, increasing sales tax and commercial property tax revenue.
Read the expanded version of this report in the enhanced electronic and print editions of the Times-News.