EVERY VOTE COUNTS: Chuck Owens, left, casts his vote along with other voters at Merry Acres Elementary School Precinct 6 Tuesday.
ALBANY, Ga. — By less than 500 votes, the Albany electorate has voted down a move to allow the sale of alcohol by retail establishments within the city on Sundays.
By unofficial numbers, 6,675 voters, or 51.8 percent, chose “no” on their ballots, while 6,195 voters, 48.2 percent, voted in favor of the Sunday sales question.
Sunday Alcohol Sales In Albany
The referendum, which was only open to voters who reside within the corporate city limits of Albany, created odd political bedfellows between clergy — many of whom want Albany and Dougherty County to be dry altogether — and liquor store owners — who believe allowing Sunday sales would force their costs to increase without any significant jump in profits.
If adopted, the measure would’ve allowed retail stores to sell packaged alcohol after 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. Alcohol by the drink is already sold on Sunday in Albany.
Elections officials say that 12,870 total votes were cast in the referendum.
Contrary to many expectations, the referendum received little pre-election buzz. Short of a news conference held by local preachers, the issue garnered few headlines.
Voters within the city must now wait at least two years before the issue can be considered again. Residents of the county, however, can consider the issue as early as next year.