According to an Executive Order issued by Humphries, the proposition on the election ballot will ask “Are you in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages in Trigg County, Kentucky?” The election will be held in all county precincts.
Grow Trigg, a local organization in favor of repealing prohibition in the county, submitted a petition on July 13 to County Clerk Wanda Thomas. The petition contained 1,911 signatures (1,851 turned in July 13 and 60 added before the count was complete, Grow Trigg vice president Jan Culwell said), 1,679 of which were valid, Humphries said. The petition needed 1,655 valid signatures to succeed.
Humphries said Thomas and her staff “counted, recounted and double-counted” the signatures to verify the final number, adding a question posed by the Trigg Citizens Against Alcohol led to the need for additional research on some of the signatures.
“They had a question about the timing of some of the dates of [voter] registration and petitions being turned in,” Humphries said. “Those were looked over, and several of them were actually taken out, but [Thomas’ staff] feel confident and I agree that the number is true and accurate to the best of our ability to count them. They have enough signatures to proceed with the referendum.”
The petition is now subject to open-records requests at the Clerk’s Office. TCAA members and supporters have said recently that they would seek legal counsel on ways to challenge the petition.
“They may find that there is something that they feel strongly about that may be a problem,” Humphries said. “The Clerk’s Office went through those hundreds of pages several times, and they feel comfortable that the signatures are there. It was not done just off a computer, they were hand-checked. All due diligence has been done from the Clerk’s Office, and it looks to be in order.”
A similar effort to make alcohol sales legal in one precinct of Cadiz last year ended when a group in opposition to the referendum succeeded in a legal challenge. Humphries said that situation had an effect on the county’s process of checking this year’s petition.
“We wanted to make sure, to the best of our understanding, that there’s no problem with it after what happened before,” Humphries said. “It was very heavily scrutinized on our end to make sure a similar situation would not occur again.”
(For more information, see the July 29 issue of The Cadiz Record.)