As ballots continue to be counted Wednesday morning, early results show voters have approved a measure that would allow retail alcohol sales in Benton County.
The Benton County Election Commission early Wednesday morning released electronic voting totals for the measure showing it has gained substantial support.
According to the preliminary results, 66% (46,282) of voters supported the proposal to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages in the county, while 34% (23,890) oppose the measure.
The county’s alcohol issue has brought forward groups supporting and opposing the measure. Benton County officials verified 41,171 signatures in July to put the measure on the general election ballot.
Walmart heirs Tom and Steuart Walton have each contributed $299,500 into a massive campaign in support of alcohol sales in the dry county. Keep Dollars in Benton County, a like-minded advocacy group, raised $663,450 to try to turn the county wet.
An opposition group, Citizens United to Preserve Benton County, has also been out in full-force, trying to defeat the measure.