Campaign begins to get wine in grocery stores on the ballot

Advocates for putting wine in grocery stores will kick off signature campaigns Monday — the next step after winning approval from the state legislature earlier this year.

Red, White and Food, the organization that has pushed wine-in-grocery stores legislation, held press conferences across the state this morning. They are hoping Tennesseans will sign petitions that would put the question of whether grocery stores should be allowed to sell wine in their communities on the ballot in November.

The number of signatures needed is different in each community, because they must equal at least 10% of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election.

According to the Knox County Election Commission, the number needed in Knoxville is 3,337. For Knox County, 6,420 signatures are required, and in Farragut, 782 people are required to sign the petition.

Your signature only counts once and you must sign the correct petition.

"It's been a long journey to get us here but now I think that the folks are going to have the opportunity to vote on this in the form of a referendum and I think the voters will speak," said John Jones, Executive Vice President of Operations at Food City.

The petitions must be completed and verified by the local election commissions by August 21st of this year to be on the November ballot.

In places where the referendum passes, most retailers can start selling win by July 1, 2016.

Chas Sisk from the Tennessean contributed to this article.


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