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CHEERS? Liquor store looking to set up shop in Jonesborough, will need voter approval

After failing to make deadline two years ago, it looks like Linda Carter, of Jonesborough, is well ahead of schedule this time around in the first step of her quest to open a liquor store in Tennessee’s Oldest Town.
In order to open a package store in Jonesborough, Carter must first get voters’ approval. To do so, Carter is required to submit to the Washington County Election Commission a petition with 153 signatures, or 10 percent of votes cast in the last governor’s election.
Carter recently filed such a petition, well ahead of the deadline that requires it be filed 60 days prior to the election for which it is to be placed on the ballot.
The petition, turned in to Election Administrator Connie Sinks on June 11, contains 154 valid signatures that were verified by the Election Commission.
In 2008, Carter came to the Election Commission to file a petition to get the issue on the ballot, but was too late to do so. Election Commission members unanimously denied putting a referendum on the November General Election ballot because the petition had been filed four days after the deadline.
The referendum must be placed on a ballot for a municipal election, meaning it must be held in conjunction with the Town of Jonesborough elections that take place every two years as part of the November General Election.
So, Carter was forced to wait until this year to take the issue to the voters. The election takes place Nov. 2.
With the petition filed and verified, the Election Commission will meet on Wednesday, June 23 to determine if any other action is needed before approving the referendum be placed on the November General Election ballot.
Currently, Jonesborough does allow the sale of liquor by the drink. Like the proposal for a liquor store within town limits, voters had to first approve the sale of liquor by the drink before it was allowed. According to Sinks, it took several elections before garnering such approval.