Election Laws


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Section 28-2A-1

Procedure for wet or dry classification option elections.

(a) Any municipality having a population of 1,000 or more, may change its classification from dry to wet or wet to dry by a municipal option election, in the following manner.

(b) Upon petition of 30 percent of the number of voters voting in the last preceding general election of the municipality being filed with the city or town clerk or governing body of the municipality, the governing body must call a municipal option election for the municipality to determine the sentiment of the people as to whether or not alcoholic beverages can be legally sold or distributed in the municipality. The petition for municipal option election shall contain the following: "It is petitioned that a municipal option election be held to permit the legal sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages within this municipality." On the ballot to be used for such municipal option election, the question shall be in the following form: "Do you favor the legal sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages within this municipality? Yes _____ No _____." Each subsequent municipal option election must follow the petition process as provided in this subsection with a new petition.

(c) The municipal option election shall be held and the officers appointed to hold same in the manner provided by law for holding other municipal elections and the returns thereof tabulated and the results certified as provided by law for such municipal elections. The municipal option election shall be held at the time of the primary, general, county-wide, or municipal election next succeeding the date of the filing of the petition, provided, however, the election shall not be held within less than 30 days from the date of the filing of the petition. Notice of the municipal option election shall be given by the governing body of the municipality by publication at least three weeks before the date of election, in a newspaper in the municipality, or, if there be none, in a newspaper in the county, or, if there be neither, by posting such notice at the town or city hall, apprising the voters of the municipality that a municipal option election shall be held to determine whether such municipality shall be wet or dry under this article. The cost of the municipal option election, including the cost of notice by publication, shall be paid out of the general fund of the municipality.

(d) Only qualified voters shall vote in the municipal option election. If a majority of the voters in the municipal option election vote "yes," the municipality shall be wet, and alcoholic beverages can be legally sold, distributed and consumed within the corporate limits of the municipality, and all of the provisions of this title, relating to alcoholic beverages in wet counties, including Chapters 3, 3A, 6, and 7, shall be immediately put into operation with respect to and effective within the corporate limits of the municipality. The municipality shall remain wet until the municipality shall be in subsequent municipal option election held under this article changed to a dry municipality, notwithstanding the results of any subsequent county election or special method referendum. All other laws to the contrary notwithstanding, the electors residing within the corporate limits of any such municipality that has become wet pursuant to a municipal option election held under this article shall not be entitled to vote in any subsequent county election or special method referendum held to determine if the county in which such municipality is located shall become wet. The question of whether such county shall become wet shall be decided by the electors of such county residing outside the corporate limits of such wet municipality as otherwise provided by law.

(e) If a majority of the voters voting in the municipal option election vote "no," the municipality shall be a dry municipality under the terms of this article until the county shall by subsequent election or special referendum, vote wet, or the municipality shall by a subsequent municipal option election held under this article, vote wet.

(f) The municipal option election in the municipality may be held at the time of any primary, general, county-wide, or municipal election as determined by the county commission or the municipal governing body, as applicable, provided a period of not less than 720 days must elapse between the dates of such municipal option elections; provided further, that a county wet-dry election or special method referendum may be held at any time without regard to the lapse of time between the dates of any county option elections.

(Acts 1984, No. 84-408, p. 955, §1; Act 2009-546, p. 1446, §1; Act 2015-2, §1.)
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