Alcohol debate far from over -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Alcohol debate far from over

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A local opposition group has raised questions concerning the number of verified petition signatures needed to put proposed beer and wine sales on Tyler's November ballot. 

To determine how many verified signatures are needed, officials look to the Texas election code, which states that 35 percent of registered voters in the last election for governor are needed to call an election.

Smith County said the debate started in the Secretary of State's office. They went back and forth on whether to take the total number of people who voted for governor versus the total number of people who voted in the 2012 election.

The civil assistant district attorney, Stan Springerley, said the city's decision is made and now it is up to the voters. On Tuesday, Commissioner's Court will vote on the Precinct two petitions. He said his office has come up with a plan to avoid controversy.

"The higher number whether it's the total number or the number of people who participated or just the votes cast for governor. Yeah, there is a range there, that is part of the debate and you could look at the legislative history and try to figure out what the legislature intended and argue all those things; but, the safest practice is just to go with the highest number," Stan Springerley said. 

KLTV spoke with the city of Tyler's attorney who said his office worked with Smith County on this verification process.

"The city used the official voter registration list provided by Smith County. That is my interpretation of what the city is required to do and that is what we did. The city also used the number of signatures required to be verified that was provided by Smith County, which is my interpretation of what the law requires," Landers said. 

Stand Strong for Tyler said they are in the process of completing their own verification process and will notify the council if they find a significant amount of invalid signatures.

The Commissioner's Court meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. 

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