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Beer/Wine election expected for May 2015

The petition for the legal sale of beer/wine off-premise for Delta County and all of the cities inside the County is still active. Many have questioned if the City of Cooper would be included in regards to an election held on January 9, 1971.

   In this election 219 voted for the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption only and 611 were against the sale. At this time there were only 138 counties in Texas in which the sale of distilled spirits are legal, only 13 had four percent beer legal, three counties had 14 percent beverages legal and 100 Texas counties were dry.

   According to the Secretary of State, “it appears Cooper had a ‘failed’ legalization election” in 1971 – meaning the prohibition election was not successful. A prohibition election can only be performed on a city that was wet before the election. Since Cooper was dry before the election, this negates that election.

   Of the 254 counties in Texas, presently 11 are dry, 194 are partly wet and 49 are completely wet. The currently the beer/wine petition for Cooper acquired 579 valid signatures and was accepted into public record.

   Delta County Judge Herb Brookshire said he will not be addressing this issue before his term ends in December. The Secretary of State said by law the deadline to order an election, by the Commissioners Court, for the May 9, 2015 election would be the 71st day before or February 27, 2015. Since this is a countywide local option liquor election the Delta County will run the election and will bear the cost of the election. Therefore the County will select the polling places at a later date.

   The City of Cooper had three positions up on the Council this May – Mayor Scotty Stegall and Council members E.J. Cates and Carl Reel. If the City determines the necessity for an election, it could also be used as a polling place for both elections (with the County still paying for the beer/wine election).

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