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Tuesday Vote Will Determine Future Of Beer

By David Howell

WATER VALLEY – The polls open next Tuesday at 7 a.m. across the county as Yalobushians will see the first alcohol-related issue on the ballot in 31 years.

    The election follows the certification of a petition in September in which 2,312 registered voters in the county requested an election to determine if the majority of Yalobushians are in favor of legalizing beer.

    The vote follows extensive campaigning by what has been labeled as the “wets” and the “drys” in the county.

    The Yalobusha Progressive Association (YPA), which  represents the “wets” began their campaign pursuing signatures for the petition almost a year prior to the election. The spokesperson for the YPA has been Cliff Lawson while other YPA members have maintained an under-the-radar profile in the political posturing.

    Area churches have been the most vocal “dry” proponents, with the Water Valley First Baptist Church  – under the direction of Dr. Randy Bain – spearheading the campaign to keep beer and light wine out of the county. The Water Valley Baptist Church is the largest in the county.

    The “dry” argument is two-fold, citing there will be little economic impact to the county if beer is legalized and there is no Biblical basis for integrating beer into the community. Backing up this stance, church leaders have pointed to the destruction in people’s lives to which alcohol can be attributed.

    The “wets” argument for legalizing beer points to the economic impact for the county stemming from new investments and increased county revenues. The “wets” also make a case that legalizing beer would allow city and county officials to control the sale of it, and finally individual freedom of adults.

    “The voter turnout should be about the same as it was in the general election,” Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney estimated. In the November general election, almost 36 percent of just over 10,000 registered voters cast their vote.

    “A lot is going to depend on whether the weather is good – a cold, windy day could affect the turnout,” Burney added.

    Absentee voting continues until noon Saturday at Circuit Clerk offices in Water Valley and Coffeeville. State law restrict a future vote on this issue – pass or fail – for a five year period.

    There will be a public testing of the voting system on Monday, December 10, according to Burney.

    Pollworkers selected to work in the election include:

Beat One North

Melvin Ford, RO

Betty Baker

Doris Hunt

Jane Franklin

Mattie Campbell

Beat One South

Sara Beth Martin, RO

Pat Rodrique

Andy Grass

Mary Ann Towers

Opal Wright

Beat Two Water Valley

Ann Babb, RO

Mim Carpenter

Dolly Henderson

Elenor Raley

Mary Lou Jones

Mary Alice Moorman

Beat Three Northwest

Lilly Horan, RO

Mary Kimzey

Juanita Cox

Irene Alexander

Kathy Pullen

Beat Three – Sylva Rena

Nancy Shaw, RO

Lloyd Thompson

Martha Tatum

Willie Mae Turner

Rose Bennett

Beat Four Coffeeville

Pamela Harris RO

Ora Dawkins

Clara Smith

Doyle Varner

Shirley Oatis

Beat Four Oakland

Mike Worsham, RO

William Brown

Lizzie Earl

Lula Alford

Pauline Smith

Beat Five Coffeeville

Elsie Harrison, RO

Sylvia Parker

Betsy Foxx

James Caulder

Betty Tritt

Beat Five Scuna-Vann’s Mill

William McCullar, RO

Bessie Kilgore

Elizabeth Coleman

Bobby Shirley

Jean Dean

Beat Five – Tillatoba

Mrs. Darrell Briscoe, RO

Bobby Hartley

Frances Adkins

Ben Gary

Radford Winters

Beat Five Scobey

Joyce Courtney, RO

Ethel Terry

Grace Jackson

Kenneth Harbin

Lena May Townes


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