Augusta to vote March 6 on Sunday alcohol sales

Vote coincides with presidential primary

Richmond County residents will vote not only for their presidential preference in the primary election March 6, but also on the question of Sunday alcohol sales.


A new state law gives local governments the authority to allow voters to decide whether retail stores may sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays from 12:30-11:30 p.m.

Like many other communities in Georgia, Richmond County passed on the first opportunity to pose the question to voters – Nov. 8 – to save money.

Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said because Augusta didn’t have anything on the November ballot, it would have cost $80,000 to $90,000 to hold an election for the single issue of Sunday alcohol sales.

“It doesn’t cost a dime if we do it in March,” Bailey said.

The March 6 election is the Pres­idential Preference Primary.

The Democratic ballot will list President Obama.

On Wednesday, Bailey received the list for the Republican ballot: Michele Bach­mann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary John­son, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Bud­dy Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick San­torum.


 Bailey said voters will have a choice of three ballots _ Democrat, Republican or nonpartisan. The nonpartisan ballot will only contain two questions, while the Democrat and Republican ballots will have the two questions and a choice of presidential candidates.


In addition to selecting presidential preference, voters will weigh in on Sunday alcohol sales and the continuation of a special sales tax for the Richmond County Board of Education.

The school board seeks to extend the sales tax to raise up to $225 million from 2013 through 2017. The money is to be used to build facilities; renovate, repair and demolish existing buildings; and purchase textbooks, technology equipment and school buses.

If approved, the sales tax would fund $20 million to replace classroom wings and make other improvements at George P. Butler High School, $15 mil­lion to replace wood buildings at 50-year-old Murphey Middle School, and $12 million for Glenn Hills High School to renovate the baseball field, build a gym and create Junior ROTC wings. Lucy C. Laney High School would get $20 million to replace classroom wings, build a cafeteria and renovate the gym, among other projects.

Friday is the last day to add items to the March 6 ballot.

Anyone who wishes to register to vote must do so by Feb. 6 to participate in the March election. Any resident who is a U.S. citizen and 18 years of age or older may register. Any resident who has been convicted of a felony crime may register to vote or re-register to vote when the sentence imposed is completed.

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Voters in dozens of cities and towns across Georgia have struck down long-standing rules against Sunday alcohol sales, leaving just two other states in the nation with similar bans intact.

Results tallied by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed Georgia voters backing the change in many of the nearly 100 communities statewide where it was on the ballot.

Nationally, only Indiana and Connecticut now prohibit Sunday package alcohol sales statewide.

– Associated Press



Sun, 01/21/2018 - 20:23

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