Starting Wednesday, Let Lubbock Vote has 60 days to collect nearly 19,000 signatures from registered Lubbock County voters on a petition to call an alcohol sales election. To accomplish this, they've hired Austin based Texas Petition Strategies. The firm has led more than 140 petition efforts across the state and has a 100% success rate.
They brought a staff of about 20 people to Lubbock. "We could be here anywhere from two weeks to two months. It really depends on how quickly we get this election done," said signature collector Caleb Estrada.
While they're in Lubbock, the team's sole job is to collect signatures. Then, staff in Austin will confirm how many of the signatures are valid. "They will literally go through using the same data base the county uses to go through and check to make sure that that person who signed is in fact a registered voter according to the county's list," said John Hatch from Texas Petition Strategies.
While Texas Petition Strategies has never failed in a petition drive, Lubbock provides a unique challenge because groups like the Lubbock Area Baptist Association oppose not only alcohol sales, but a petition drive as well.
"Historically groups have never come out to oppose the getting access to the ballot," said Hatch.
Lubbock residents will see two petitions circulating. One is for the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages for off premise consumption, for example Wal-Marts and convenience stores. The other is for the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders.
TAAS Voices Opposition To Expanded Alcohol Sales
The clock started Wednesday for Let Lubbock Vote which has 60 days to collect enough valid signatures to bring expanded alcohol sales to a vote in Lubbock County. But another group, Truth About Alcohol Sales, says they'll do whatever they can to stop it.