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Knott County group seeking signatures on petition to legalize alcohol sales

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A group in eastern Kentucky is taking another swing at legalizing alcohol sales in Knott County. A petition has been recorded with the Knott County Clerk’s Office to get the measure on a ballot.

Two previous petitions were successful in securing a vote, but those both failed to pass, one in 2012 and the other in 2017.

Knott County Clerk Reci Cornett says this petition needs 1,317 signatures before January 31st to get the item in this year’s primary election. Cornett explained once the signatures are filed with her office, it’s a lengthy process.

“We count those, and we go through each one by one and make sure they’re registered voters, making sure they’re 18 years old. So once we go through those and we find 1,317 then we take that process to the judge and then the judge has to get a court order to get it on the ballot,” said Cornett.

Cornett cautioned if the petition does not make the deadline, it won’t make this year’s primary election and the county will not pay for a special election.

“The legislature changed that law. If they don’t get it on the primary or on the general election, whoever gets this petition up, and they want to put this on a ballot, they have to pay for that,” said Cornett.

Cornett said a special election requires the same resources as a primary or general election and would cost $20,000 to $30,000.

Petitions are located at businesses across the county. A similar petition is circulating in Madison County to expand alcohol sales.

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Samantha was a reporter and All Things Considered Host from 2019 to 2023. Sam is also a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station.
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