After turning in a reported 2,345 signed petitions to the Pike County Clerk’s office on Wednesday, August 10, the Vote Pike County Wet group found out they still face an uphill effort.
After the verification process, the clerk’s office rejected 726 of the petitions for various reasons — lack of voter registration, incorrect information (such as last name provided versus what is on file at clerk’s office) and petitions that were simply illegible or from a small number who filled out multiple petitions.
That leaves the group with 1,619 valid petitions as of last Friday afternoon, well short (576 petitions) of the number needed (2,195) to qualify for the ballot in November to place a liquor referendum before the voters of Pike County — or 38% of the registered voters in the county.
According to the Pike County Clerk’s office, the Vote Pike County Wet group received the list of those petitions that qualified — or conversely disqualified — and the group will receive an additional 10 days to rectify/replace the discarded petitions. That places the final deadline at Monday, Aug. 29.
The Clerk’s office would have to legally certify the measure by Tuesday, August 30, the legal minimum of 70 days prior to the November 8 general election.
When asked for comment, the Vote Pike County Wet group stated that while the situation looked bleak, they were not yet throwing in the towel and would utilize remaining time to the best of their ability to garner the still outstanding petitions.
“We are undermanned … while there are many vocal supporters of the measure, we simply don’t have enough boots on the ground to easily garner the number of petitions needed,” said Jack Bonds, noting the group collected approximately 100 replacement petitions over this past weekend.
The group asks that anyone interested in helping the effort by volunteering to please call one of the group’s three organizers — Bonds (214) 733-0452, Lisa Harvill (870) 557-1860 or Jamie Terrell (870) 285-5288.