Benton County Group Makes Final Push for Booze Sales

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The group Keep Dollars in Benton County wants voters to decide in the November election if they want retail alcohol sales in the county.  The group needs about 10,000 signatures to reach its goal.

The group hired a national firm to help with the signatures and on Saturday representatives were in five locations in Bentonville, Bella Vista, Rogers and Siloam Springs.

"The main challenge [because] we've gotten such good response is finding ways for people to sign and communicating to people where to go to sign a petition," said Jay Allen, spokesperson for Keep Dollars in Benton County.

Allowing liquor sales in Benton County is a hot topic and it has been a dry county for almost seven decades. The goal is 40,000 registered voters' signatures.

"That hasn't happened since the 1940s and what you have to do to get it on the ballot is get 38% of registered voters in Benton County to sign a petition," said Allen.

The group made it hassle free for supporters to sign the petition. They drove up, a representative handed them the petition, they signed and drove off.

"People who are going to buy alcohol are going to buy it. It just saves me from driving to Missouri or Washington County," Benton County voter Mike Rodda said.

Supporters said they want to have a chance to vote on a law, they describe, as outdated.

"This is the wettest dry county in the state so it only makes sense to make this wet and get our revenues back," Benton County voter Keith Rusher said.

The group said it is optimistic it will reach its goal for the August deadline.