Sunday alcohol sales referendum passes in Newton - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sunday alcohol sales referendum passes in Newton

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

In Newton a referendum to allow Sunday alcohol sales passed by just one vote.

Out of the 345 registered voters in Newton, 131 people voted on Sunday alcohol sales and it barely passed.

66 yays and 65 nays. By one vote, alcohol sales on Sunday's will soon go into effect. With only one referendum on the ballot, election officials say voter turnout was low.

"For people not showing up no more than they did. It was passed by one vote. First time since I've been working with the elections that we had a election this close," said Elaine Hawkins, Election Superintendent.

The referendum allows package sales of beer, wine, and liquor by retailers on Sundays. Newton resident, Rick Bynes says the idea of not leaving town is much more convenient.

"Like on Sunday's, me and my boys go to Damascus. We got to drive probably like 30 minutes on Sunday just to get some beer and alcohol," said Rick Bynes.

While some people are happy about buying alcohol on Sunday, some say 6 days out the week is enough time to buy their drinks.

"It's probably an insult but I think we should give it a break on Sunday. For the people who have reasons of religion. I understand it's about money and revenue but 'Come on Man'. The sell of alcohol everyday. That's non-sense. Ain't that much drinking in the world," said Charles Jay.

Because the vote was so close, city leaders say they counted votes three times but the numbers were the same each time.

"The older people did not come out to vote. They usually come out to vote but they didn't come out yesterday," said Elaine Hawkins, Election Superintendent.

Whether they voted for or against the referendum, Newton residents have three weeks before things change. Sunday alcohols sales will go into effect Sunday, December 1. Alcohol can only be sold between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

 

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