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Voters say yes to alcohol on Sundays
Unofficial results show Richmond Hill's liquor by the drink referendum passes 535-239
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Richmond Hill voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum on Tuesday that will allow restaurants within the city limits to serve alcohol on Sundays.

Overall, 774 voters turned out to make their voices heard, with 535 votes in favor of the referendum and 239 against it.

The turnout was higher than officials had expected for a special election.

Said Bryan County Elections Superintendent Sam Davis, "We didn’t expect this kind of turnout, but then it was a hot button issue that created a lot of strong emotions on both sides."

He added that that while the unexpected turnout had sometimes resulted in long lines, the election process itself ran smoothly.

"We didn’t have any problems," he said. "I think City Council will be pleased to see such a high turnout."

As voters exited the polls Tuesday evening, reactions to the issue of Sunday liquor by the drink sales were mixed.

Many voters, including Richmond Hill resident Caroline Leton, were in favor of lifting the ban on Sunday alcohol sales in order to boost business and encourage residents to spend their cash locally.

"Everybody goes into Savannah and gives all our money to them, and we might as well keep it right here," she said.

But some voters expressed concern that allowing Sunday alcohol sales would have negative effects on Richmond Hill’s morality and health.

"I don’t think they should pass it," said Darryl Lawrence. "I’m all for free enterprise and the advantages of that, but we’re losing too much morality. I’d like to see at least something preserved and just keep one day that’s exclusive for family and worship. I’m sure it’s having a negative effect on business, and I understand that, but I think there are more important things than money."

Craig Klebe disagreed.

"I think the issue should definitely pass," he said. "There’s no reason why restaurants can’t serve alcohol on Sundays. It’s not a religious matter, it’s a matter of choice. We’re entitled to make our own choice, and that’s why we’re here today."

Despite polling place officials advising voters that they needed to reside within the Richmond Hill city limits to vote, some confusion persisted.

Bryan County resident Linda Purcell expressed frustration that she had not been able to vote.

"Even though my address says Richmond Hill, I couldn’t vote because I’m not technically within the city limits," she said.


See Saturday's Bryan County News and for more on the story.



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