Poll Suggests Majority Of Arkansans Support Legalizing Alcohol Sales

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – A recent Public Policy Polling poll shows a majority of Arkansans believe the entire state should be able to legally sell alcohol.

The state of Arkansas allows counties to prohibit the sale of alcohol.

That could change soon, with a new poll suggesting many think Arkansas should be a wet state.

“Everybody should have the same opportunity,” said David Couch, a chairman for the “Let Arkansas Decide” group.

The poll suggests 52 percent of Arkansans are for legalizing alcohol sales across the state, with 40 percent opposing.

“All of the counties need to have the same opportunity as the rest of the counties,” Couch said.

Supporters of the initiative say they ran a poll that suggested the same thing.

“When I saw the 52 percent, it made me have a lot more confidence in my poll,” Couch said. “I think that it shows that the people of the state of Arkansas are really ready for this.”

Some suggested tradition could be a reason why 40 percent oppose the movement.

“Because of the heritage,” said Patti Hand. “Arkansas has been that way for so long.”

Officials with the group Let Arkansas Decide say they have the signatures needed to push the issue forward.

“I know that I have about 91,000 valid in hand,” Couch said. “We only need 78,000. So we are good.”

Some say they don’t personally have a need to have the sales legalized throughout the state, but could see why others may.

“I don’t drink; so it doesn’t really matter to me,” Hand said.

However, officials with Let Arkansas Decide say they have the signatures needed to make it on the upcoming general election ballot.

“If I don’t lose any, if I just tread water, I win,” Couch said. “All I need is 50 percent, plus one person,”

According to the poll released last week, most of those in favor of the initiative are under the age of 45.

If the state validates the petition signatures from Let Arkansas Decide, the issue will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The group did not collect enough validated signatures by the July deadline, but it was given another month to comply.

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