JONESVILLE — Jonesville decisively voted in favor of alcohol Nov. 5.
The town’s latest attempt to bring alcoholic beverages into the hotels, restaurants and convenience stores was successful at this year’s ballot box.
Voters turned out in support of the measure, with 60.59 percent in favor of malt beverages, 59.16 percent in favor of an ABC store, and 60.66 percent in favor of mixed beverages.
The measure drew attention and criticism from various church and business groups in the town. Sign campaigns for both sides lined almost every Jonesville street prior to the election.
Supporters and protesters stood in front of the town’s only polling place, the Yadkin Valley Senior Center, and urged voters to vote “yay” or “nay” depending on the side.
Signs met voters as they entered Lila Swaim Memorial Park urging them to let Jonesville “get what it deserves” and “don’t let the train pass us by.”
By voting alcohol in Jonesville, restaurants can now serve beer and liquor with the already legal wine.
An ABC store can be built inside town limits.
The vote left many aspects of the alcohol sales in question: when businesses can begin selling alcoholic beverages, when and if an ABC store will be built, and how the additional drink option will affect how the town markets itself to tourists?
“We’ll just have to see what happens next. We’ll have to see what our next job with that is. I have to wait until I actually get into office,” Anita Darnell said after winning one of two available seats on the town council this election.
Darnell is the head of the Jonesville Tourism Development Authority, which brought the referendum to a vote by presenting it to the town council earlier this year. The council then voted 3-2 to place the three questions on the ballot.
Jonesville newly-elected Mayor Gene Pardue said he personally did not approve of alcohol, but admitted it was the law of the land now.
“Personally, I think everybody knows that I’m against alcohol. I voted against it, but we go by the majority of what people wants. We move on; we try to do the best we can for the town, regardless,” Pardue said.
By the numbers
There were 548 votes in the malt beverage election: 332 for and 216 against.
There were 546 votes in the ABC store election: 323 for and 223 against.
There were 544 votes in the mixed beverage election: 330 for and 214 against.
Jonesville is located entirely in the North Knobs voting precinct. Of the 2,838 registered voters in the precinct, 761 voted at the poll, a 26.81-percent turnout.
The voter turnout was at least 12.03 percent higher than any other precinct.
Jonesville voters were by far the busiest, with those casting ballots answering who they wanted as mayor and commissioner, the alcohol questions, and the county sales tax referendum, which was voted down.
Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.