Grow Trigg submits over 1,800 signatures
by Franklin Clark -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Jul 15, 2009 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Grow Trigg, the group hoping to end prohibition in Trigg County, submitted its petition for a wet/dry vote to Trigg County Clerk Wanda Thomas when the courthouse opened at 8 a.m. Monday.

The signatures – unnoficially numbering 1,851, Thomas said – were spread across 960 pages and three large binders, with some signatures taking up a page.

The group needs 1,655 valid signatures in order for the petition to result in a wet/dry vote, said Thomas, who stamped all three binders.

Thomas said she and members of her staff were to check the signatures after the petition was viewed by county attorney H.B. Quinn, who was out of the office Monday.

Thomas said the validity of the petition could be known sometime next week.

“It’s going to be a lengthy process, not something we can complete in a day,” Thomas said.

Grow Trigg President Ken Culwell said roughly two dozen volunteers helped the group procure those signatures since late April. Six restaurants allowed the group to place petitions in their signatures, and 12 or more restaurants supported them, some some with monetary donations, Culwell went on to say.

When asked what the group would do if the number of valid signatures falls below the needed number, Culwell said, “There’s no chance of that happening.”

However, Culwell said there were a few signatures that he knew to be duplicates, and at least one where the birth date was in dispute, and that the last example especially will probably be ruled to be invalid.

Citing OAG-92-132 (opinion of the attorney general), Thomas said the petition will remain in “application status” until Trigg County Judge-Executive Stan Humphries makes the official determination on the petition’s validity. While that status is in play, Grow Trigg may submit more signatures to the petition, but once review of the petition is complete, Grow Trigg would be required to begin the process with a new petition rather than add to the current one.

Not being a registered voter, multiple signatures, leaving off important information such as birth dates, would all make a signature invalid, Thomas said.

Culwell said there were about 12 people that he knows of that signed the petition that said they would vote against repealing prohibition in the potential special election.

“I’ve gotten two bad phone calls, and our number is in the phone book,” Culwell said. “This is a polarizing issue, but our desire is that we disagree without being disagreeable. We will still be neighbors and friends when this process is complete.”

Culwell added that this is a great community, and that the phone calls and e-mails he has received have been overwhelmingly positive.

Linda Humbert, Grow Trigg publicity chairman, said the group will now set up a headquarters on Main Street in Cadiz to give out information and to answer questions pertaining to the election and to the effects that alcohol sales have had on similar communities. The headquarters will hopefully be opened by late July, she added.

If there are enough signatures for the petition to be verified, Humphries will have to set a date for the election, which must be held on a Tuesday no less than 60 days and no more than 90 days from the date the signatures were turned in, Thomas said.

In a written statement, Culwell thanked the more than 1,800 people that signed the petition, the businesses that supported the group, the people that told signature gatherers that they couldn’t sign the petition but would vote to end prohibition and Grow Trigg volunteers.

“Now, let the people vote; this is the way we do things in the United States of America,” Culwell said. “The people will decide and we will live with the results.”

There will be another Grow Trigg meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Lake Barkley State Resort Park and Lodge.

(The Cadiz Record executive editor Justin McGill contributed to this story.)
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