Push Is On To Collect Signatures Putting Wine In Grocery Stores on November Ballot

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Push Is On To Collect Signatures Putting Wine In Grocery Stores on November Ballot

CREATED May 6, 2014
by Mark Bellinger

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A push has started to collect signatures to put wine in grocery stores on the November ballot in Davidson County.  An organization know as Red, White and Food is leading the effort.

 Emily Young, a volunteer for the group, set up shop outside of  Belle Meade City Hall Tuesday to catch voters casting ballots in the May Primary.
Young and other volunteers collected signatures on a petition to put the issue to a vote in November.

Her goal was to collect signatures equaling 10% of the number of people who voted for the governor in the last election.

"We just want to make sure your signature counts," Young said.

Ginny McLean signed the petition.

McLean said, "I actually watched the legislative session on line while they were voting on it, so I got to hear about it back and forth."

It took state lawmakers seven years of negotiating and arm twisting to get the bill finally to pass. Governor Bill Haslam signed it in March, which opened the doors for elections in municipalities where liquor is sold either in a restaurant or liquor store.

The legislation permits liquor stores to sell other items starting this summer.

During the bill signing ceremony Governor Haslam said, "People worked very hard to make this happen, and I think there will be a lot of Tennesseans that welcome the day when it finally arrives in grocery stores."

At the Kroger in Donelson company spokeswoman Melissa Eads said this is just the beginning of a summer state wide campaign.

"There's going to be a lot more to come. There will be drives held at Kroger stores, other retailers to try and collect the signatures we need," Eads commented.

Kroger will join the effort of Red, White and Food. Volunteers like Emily Young will be helping spread their message all summer.

To be on the November ballot the names must be counted and verified by the election commission by August 21st.

Red, White and Food, which is sponsored by the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association,  will have to collect around 15,000 signatures in Davidson County.

Even if it's approved by voters in November, grocery stores won't be able to put wine on the shelf until July 2016.  

Email: mbellinger@newschannel5.com
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