When Duluth citizens go to the polls in November to vote in the municipal election, there probably will be another matter on the ballot – a referendum on Sunday liquor sales.
The Duluth City Council informally agreed at its work session last night (April 25) to place the referendum on the city ballot if Gov. Nathan Deal signs Senate Bill 10 into law. The law would become effective July 1, according to City Attorney Lee Thompson.
If approved by a majority vote, the referendum would authorize retailers in counties and cities that already allow package sales of beer, wine and distilled spirits to sell alcoholic beverages from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Sundays.
“Our citizens know it’s hanging out there,” said Councilwoman Marsha Bomar. “It doesn’t harm anything to let them vote.”
City Clerk Teresa Lynn informed the council that citizens voting in the Duluth municipal election and the referendum to allow Sunday alcoholic beverage sales in Duluth would cast votes in the Community Room at City Hall. If Gwinnett County has issues, it would have a separate ballot, and citizens would have to vote at other polling locations in the city, Lynn said. It wouldn’t be appropriate to hold both city and county voting in the same place, she said, and it’s going to be confusing to voters.
The Gwinnett County Commission has not yet decided if it will hold a referendum in November allowing Sunday liquor sales in the county. The Gwinnett County Board of Education is expected to ask voters to continue the school SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) in November.
The mayoral and two city council posts will be on the Nov. 8 Duluth ballot. Incumbents are Mayor Nancy Harris and Councilmen Doug Mundrick (Post 4) and Greg Whitlock (Post 5). If they draw no opposition or there is only one candidate running for each post, the municipal election would be cancelled.