Early Votes Cast For Liquor By The Drink In Johnston Co. - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Early Votes Cast For Liquor By The Drink In Johnston Co.

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TISHOMINGO, OK -- Going out for a meal in Johnston County could soon include a drink containing alcohol.     

The issue is on the ballot and early voting started  Thursday. It's an idea that has many voters at odds.  

Early votes were cast in Tishomingo Thursday for a decision on allowing liquor by the drink in Johnston County.

Voters can cast their vote at the Johnston County Election Board on Thursday and Friday until 6 PM, after legislation passed a bill last November taking away early voting on Mondays.

According to city officials in Tishomingo, liquor is already available by the bottle in certain stores.

But it is not available in restaurants or bars.

Those who voted yes for the proposal say it would bring economic growth to the county.

"If the proposition is to pass, then this could mean more growth for the future of Tishomingo and Johnston County," said Tom Lokey.

Lokey, who is the mayor of Tishomingo, says 55 counties in Oklahoma have already made this decision to allow liquor by the drink.

"I believe it's much more of an economic issue than an alcohol issue," said Keith Plummer, who resides in Tishomingo.

Those who oppose the proposition say there are no limits to the proposal, which is cause for concern.

"There's no limits to it," said Rex Clayton, a pastor at a church in Tishomingo. "There's no limits to the day of week. There's no limit to the hours during the day."

In response to the argument of economic growth, Clayton says the county has experienced some without liquor by the drink.

"Every place that's come in to do business here has known that we were not a liquor by the drink county," said Clayton. "So they didn't stay away from here for that reason."

Election officials say they had a good turnout on the first day, despite the cold, with over 80 votes being cast.

Early voting continues Thursday until 6 PM.     

The regular election is Tuesday and lasts until 7 PM.