For the second time in just over three years, Union County voters came out to the polls to vote down a referendum to allow wine and spirits to be sold in the county.
The percentage of citizens who voted against the measure in a special election Tuesday totaled 61.24 percent, compared to 38.76 percent in favor of it.
Those percentages translate into 2,277 for the referendum and 3,597 against it.
A total of 5,353 of the county’s 16,398 voters participated in Tuesday’s special election. An additional 375 citizens voted through either absentee or affadavit ballots.
Among those ballots, there were 167 votes for the measure and 208 against it.
Three of the county’s 20 precincts had more votes in favor of legalization: the Courthouse, Northeast Mississippi Community College and B.F. Ford.
An attempt to legalize the sale of beverages that contain more than 5 percent alcohol was also made during the 2008 general election. During that campaign, a year in which Union County had a larger voter turnout due to the presidential election, the referendum failed by a slightly narrower margin – 43.78 percent in favor of legalization and 57.22 percent opposed.
While legalization required county-wide approval, wine and spirits can only be sold inside municipalities.
Proponents of the referendum must wait two years to petition to place the issue on the county-wide ballot.