As many Sharp County residents know, a group of very dedicated people have been circulating a petition to have a referendum placed on the Nov. 8 ballot to make Sharp County "Wet." They did all the legal things they were supposed to and did it properly, as certified by the county clerk's office. Now, because of two people that are contesting the signatures, there has been a temporary injunction issued by a county judge, as of the writing of this letter, Sept. 10.
The clerk of Sharp County certified that the necessary amount of signatures had been approved and certified by them as of Aug. 27. According to existing law, a group or an individual has 10 days to contest this certification. This is a legal challenge set up to assure the voters that all signatures were obtained properly. The certification by the clerk's office means that they have reviewed and examined the petition signatures and in their opinion it is proper and legal and should proceed to the next step, which is putting it on the ballott.
I agree that this is a fair and democratic process that keeps the issue open and honest. It is the purpose of this process to prevent voter fraud and unauthorized practices on the part of the petitioners.
The clerk's certification assures us that 38 percent of registered voters that are legally needed to get a referendum on a ballot were signed, notarized and obtained properly.
My question is what is the motivation behind the two individuals who have contested this petition?
I believe their objections are all based on fear and perhaps personal power.
The dictionary describes fear as "anxiety caused by real or possible danger, pain, etc." These two individuals fear what Sharp County voters may say in November. They fear that their narrow minded self-righteous views are not shared by the majority of Sharp County voters. They fear that law abiding citizens of this county might want to go out to a nice dinner and have a glass of wine or a beer. They fear that veterans who have fought to defend our constitutional right to vote might not see the issue their way. They fear economic growth that will come with alcohol sales. They fear jobs that will come to help the people of our county. They fear new ideas, progress and capitalism.
These are small-minded, ridgid, "good ole boys" that believe they know better than the rest of us how to live our lives.
This is no longer just about the wet/dry issue, now it is about freedom. Freedom to exercise our constitutional right to vote.
Shame on these individuals for being so self-important and egotistical to think that they speak for the 18,000 or so residents of this county.
Let the MAJORITY decide, not just the FEW!!