Liquor sales measures pass

Posted: November 7, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.

Patric Brosh, from left, Marshall Ney and Jay Allen, all with Keep Dollars in Benton County, sit around the bar at Table Mesa Bistro in Bentonville on Tuesday while watching voting results. The Keep Dollars in Benton County group helped get the issue on the ballot to legalize retail alcohol sales in Benton County.

It appears that voters in Madison and Sharp counties opted for alcohol sales Tuesday. In Benton County, votes were still being counted Wednesday morning, but the sale of liquor was in the lead.

If all three counties approve package store sales, it will be historic, said Michael Langley, director of the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

“For the first time since the 1940s, Arkansas has a majority of wet counties,” said Langley. “This continues the pro-liquor trend that has been stead since 2006. Every pro-liquor issue on a ballot including wet/dry and off-premise Sunday sales has passed. The vote differential also appears to be growing each year. It is a strong cultural shift.”

Previously, 35 of Arkansas’ 75 counties were wet.

As of noon Wednesday:

With 18 of 20 precincts in Madison County reporting, the unofficial results were:

For 3,793

Against 2,828

With 26 of 26 precincts reporting in Sharp County, the unofficial results were:

For 3,886

Against 3,456

With only preliminary votes counted, the unofficial results in Benton County were:

For 47,712

Against 24,946

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.