Voters reject alcohol sales in Marshall County


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. — After the vote to go wet goes down, the group opposed to alcohol sales in Marshall County celebrates.

In Marshall County, the fight over alcohol sales started back in February with the formation of the group known as "Marshall 1st."

They circulated a petition to get the wet-dry vote on a special election ballot.

Shortly after that, the opposition formed, identifying themselves as "Say No Now".

For nearly five months, both sides spent tens of thousands of dollars on advertising.

Now, the "Say No Now" movement says their money was well-spent.

Some could argue it was the churches getting on board, the campaign signs, the billboards or the free rides to the polls.

But the vice chair of the "Say No Now" movement said it's all about awareness.

He said their goal was to inform the community of how alcohol would impact Marshall County.

He and his group celebrated the fact that the majority of Marshall County voters said no to alcohol sales.

The election is over but both groups said they are far from gone.

By the time we arrived at the "Say No Now" gathering, many had already gone home. But The group's Keith Travis said a crowd packed the room and anxiously awaited the results from all 25 precincts.

Tuesday night was a big victory for a group but Travis admitted the campaign against alcohol wasn't easy.

He said the outcome wouldn't have been possible without the support of hundreds of people countywide.

"They contributed so much," he said. "They have truly been a group of people without a selfish motive in their body. They just wanted to move forward and do things that are the best. It is a victory for everyone."

Sissy Womack with "Marshall 1st" said she might bring the issue back up in three years if she thinks economic conditions in Marshall warrant it. According to state statutes, voters can't decide the same question until three years have passed between votes.

Meanwhile, "Say No Now" will stick around, too. The group's leaders say they may get involved in taking a stand on other social issues that arise in the community.

The vote itself cost taxpayers $33,000. Meanwhile private spending from "Marshall 1st" totaled $25,000, while "Say No Now" doubled that with $50,000.