Clarke County residents to vote on sale of alcohol

CLARKE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - People who live in Clarke County will soon get the chance to decide whether they want to allow the sale of alcohol. The measure is on the ballot Nov. 7.

"If we can keep Quitman, which is a great city, a great place to raise a family, if we can keep it looking the same way and increase investment, then we've taken the right path," Mayor Eddie Fulton says.

Clarke County is one of only eight counties in Mississippi that are completely dry. Quitman's mayor was once opposed to bringing in alcohol, but after talking to local businesses, as well as other mayors and police chiefs in wet cities, he has changed his mind.

"What I've found out from other cities that were successful is if the ordinance you put together is tough enough, you won't have an increase in crime; you won't have an increase in DUIs," the mayor says.

Mayor Fulton hopes to set major restrictions if voters choose to allow the sale of beer and alcohol. That includes making sure any business that wants to sell alcohol would need 75 percent of its sales to come from food, which means you won't see any bars popping up. There would also be no outside advertisements for beer or liquor, so there would be no neon signs, either.

"I don't think anybody in this town wants any changes, other than the fact they want an opportunity for economic growth. And that I think we can give them," Mayor Fulton says.

He says whether you're for or against bringing in alcohol, the city just wants as many people to come out and vote as possible.

The polls will be open Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters should go to their regular precinct for county elections.