PAC Collects Enough Signatures to Put Alcohol on May Ballot - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/17/08

PAC Collects Enough Signatures to Put Alcohol on May Ballot

Let Lubbock Vote has stopped its efforts to get signatures on an alcohol sales petition, even though they still have 40 days left to collect names. "We're done. We have enough signatures, and we are real excited," said David George at the Let Lubbock Vote Press Conference Friday morning. 

Let Lubbock Vote needed 18,747 valid signatures to put the alcohol sales issue on the ballot in May.  On Friday the political action committee announced they've met their goal. Seventeen days in to their 60 day time frame, Let Lubbock Vote collected more than 33,000 signatures, and they say more than 25,000 of those are valid. "Basically, more people signed the petitions than voted in you last city election, which was one of your highest turnouts," said John Hatch of Texas Petition Strategies. 

This is largely because of Texas Petition Strategies, the company the PAC hired to lead the petition drive.  They've led more than 140 successful petition drives across the state. "The Lubbock County effort began on October 1st, and it is the fastest and most effective collaboration effort ever conducted by Texas Petition Strategies," said Hatch. 

Texas Petition Strategies, an Austin based company, also addressed criticism from the opposition group Truth About Alcohol Sales. "This is not an issue that came up where local citizens wanted to make Lubbock wet. This is an issue of companies from without our community that want to exploit out community for profit," said a TAAS member at their meeting Thursday night. 

"Yes, we had paid people there collecting signatures, but it doesn't matter how many paid people were here collecting signatures. The reality is the only way this issue gets on the ballot is when 18,474 qualified, registered voters of Lubbock County sign this petition," said Hatch. 

Let Lubbock Vote hasn't turned those signatures in yet, because they haven't raised the more than $100,000 needed to pay for the effort. Texas Petition Strategies is holding onto the signatures until Let Lubbock Vote can pay them. Let Lubbock Vote must turn in the signatures by December 1st. The county election office then has 30 days to check and make sure all the signatures are valid.

NewsChannel 11 contacted the alcohol sales opposition group, TAAS, but they declined comment about Let Lubbock Vote meeting the petition requirements.

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