They took to the streets, bought ads in the Clinton County News and on local radio station WANY, went door to door and worked social media sites, like Facebook, relentlessly
And those efforts paid off with a nearly 2-1 margin as when the votes were counted shortly before 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night, the movement that opposed the sale of alcohol in Clinton County were celebrating a big victory.
That was the answer to the simple question that appeared on the ballot Tuesday in the only question that voters in Clinton County were faced with making a decision.
“Are you in favor of the sale of alcohol beverages in Clinton County, Kentucky?” the question read on Tuesday’s ballot.
The effort against the sale of alcoholic beverages in Clinton County was led by the organized group known as Concerned Citizens for Families.
David McIver was one of the principal leaders in the effort against the sale of alcoholic beverages, and he was on hand Tuesday night with a host of other members from that organization.
McIver spoke with the Clinton County News briefly just minutes after the vote totals were announced.
“There was a lot of effort from both sides,” McIver said. “The effort we saw for the ‘No’ was amazing. Each time we held a prayer meeting, the number who came out to show their concern and seek God, that was encouraging. The testimonies that were given, I believe they touched people’s hearts.”
McIver was just one of many supporters of the “No” vote who was on hand Tuesday in a crowded Clinton County Clerk office in the courthouse.
“I thank God for the unity that was provided through this,” McIver said. “Boundaries and denominations crossed for this purpose and I’m thankful for the way God blessed us. The effort that many, many people put forth was amazing to me.”
McIver is relieved it’s over for now, however, he knows that in three years the issue could come again with a new petition.
“It’s over for now and we understand that, but also understand that it’s not completely over,” McIver said. “We aren’t going to put it behind us and pretend like it’s never going to come up again. There needs to be continuing work for this effort.”
Nearly half of the registered voters in Clinton County made the effort to make their choice heard, resulting in 2,300 votes against the sale of alcoholic beverages here, with “NO” votes, while 1,288 voters cast ballots that were in favor, or “YES”, votes.
With 7,496 registered voters in Clinton County who were eligible to vote in the special election Tuesday, the number who cast votes represented about a 48 percent turnout.
Across Clinton County, the No votes outnumbered the Yes votes in every single voting precinct as well as with absentee voters.
According to the vote totals announced Tuesday night by County Clerk Shelia Booher after election officials had completed the tabulation process of votes cast in absentee manner, the No votes had outnumbered the Yes votes with those voters by nearly a 3-1 margin.
With 448 total votes cast either by paper ballot or on an machine by voters who couldn’t be in Clinton County on Tuesday, the No votes outnumbered the Yes votes 335 to 113.
Some 111 of those votes were cast by paper ballot, with three of the ballots being returned ruled ineligible due to improper placement of voter signatures on the outer envelope.
The closest margin of voting Tuesday in live voting occurred in the Piney Woods precinct where the No votes outnumbered the Yes votes by only five votes, 129 to 124.
The greatest margin of No votes across the 13 precincts was in the Highway precinct where the No votes won by a 161 vote margin, 247 to 85.
The vote against the sale of alcoholic beverages here follows several other similar votes in nearby communities that have resulted in a mix of results.
The most recent nearby vote of a similar nature saw Monroe County also vote against the sale of alcoholic beverages, although the total turnout and the margin against the measure was far less than Tuesday’s result in Clinton County.
In the Monroe County (Tompkinsville) vote last month, the issue was defeated by 690 votes, with 1901 voting against while 1,211 voted in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages.
In other area votes of a similar nature during the past two years, 2015 and 2016, voters in Cumberland County voted to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages, as did voters in Metcalfe County, Adair County and Russell County.
An election held just a few weeks ago in the Wayne County town precincts of Monticello only, saw the No votes also prevail, preventing the sale of alcoholic beverages within the city limits there.
Also on Tuesday night in Allen County (Scottsville), voters also went against the sale of alcoholic beverages in that community as well. Allen County is located about 70 miles from Clinton County, just south of Glasgow and Barren County.
The resulting No vote on Tuesday makes Clinton County a “dry island” of sorts in terms of alcohol sales, with every surrounding county allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages in some form or another.
Tuesday’s votes was the result of a petition that was circulated in Clinton County late in 2015, an effort that was spearheaded by local businessman Jim Soma
Clinton County Clerk Shelia Booher and her staff, validated that the petition contained 565 signatures of registered voters, more than the 515 that would have been required to result in the question being put to a vote.
Once the signatures of registered voters–which was 25 percent of the total number of residents who voted in the November 2015 general election–were verified by the clerk’s office, following Kentucky law, Clinton County Judge/Executive Richard Armstrong set a date for the special election to be held. That time frame was no less than 30 days, nor more than 90 days, after the signatures on the petition were verified.