SMITH COUNTY (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - The Smith County Election Office has begun the verification process for petitions to call a local election for the sale of beer and wine in Justice of the Peace Precinct 4.
Precinct 4 voters failed propositions for beer and wine sales for off-premise consumption twice since 2009, but the race has gotten tighter as other municipalities, including Tyler, have legalized sales.
Election Administrator Karen Nelson said members of the "Buy Smith County Committee" turned in 186 pages of signatures. Mrs. Nelson said 1,748 signatures from voters registered in the precinct are necessary to place the local option on November ballots.
The office has 30 days to verify signatures.
In May 2009, two local-option alcohol elections went before Precinct 4 voters. Proposition 1, for legalization of the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption, failed 52.71 percent, or 1,461 votes, to 47.29 percent, or 1,311 of 2,772 total votes. Proposition 2 passed and allows mixed-beverage sales for restaurants in the precinct. Precinct 4 voters denied beer and wine sales a second time in November 2010. The measure was defeated by 50 votes, 2,350 to 2,300, or 50.55 percent to 49.45 percent.
The precinct's boundaries run north of Tyler on the east side of County Road 35 (Lavender Road) and on the north and east side of Loop 323 down the northeast side of Texas Highway 64 to New Chapel Hill, then east to the north side of Overton.
Portions of the precinct are just inside Tyler within Loop 323 near Texas Highway 31 East.