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Liquor-by-the-drink petitions fall short, but town of Unicoi to vote on package stores

Efforts to allow voters to decide on new alcohol regulations have met with mixed results in Unicoi County.
While registered voters living within the county limits and the town of Erwin limits will not be seeing a referendum for liquor by the drink on their November ballots this year, voters in the town of Unicoi will decide whether that town will allow package stores.
Unicoi County Administrator of Elections Sarah Bailey said partial petitions for Erwin and Unicoi County were submitted to the Election Commission by the 5 p.m. deadline on Sept. 7.
In order for signatures to be certified, they had to be from registered voters who live within each municipality, Bailey said.
For the town of Erwin, 59 signatures were certified and 153 names were needed for the liquor-by-the-drink referendum, Bailey said. For the county petition, 45 signatures were certified and 192 names were needed for the referendum to be placed on the ballot, Bailey said.
Bailey said John Day and Tina Crowder were the facilitators of the town of Erwin and Unicoi County liquor-by-the-drink petitions.
Charles Lynch facilitated the town of Unicoi package store referendum, which will appear on the November ballot for town of Unicoi residents to vote on.
The referendum required 104 certified signatures and the petition garnered a total of 113, Bailey said. The town of Unicoi was able to get a referendum and pass liquor by the drink during the 2006 election.