Will The Wet Versus Dry Issue Make The November Ballot In River Valley?

VAN BUREN (KFSM) -- The wet versus dry issue is heating up in Johnson and Crawford Counties.

Large companies like Walmart have pumped thousands of dollars into an initiative called Keep Dollars In Crawford County and canvassers have spent months securing signatures from voters in hopes of having enough to put the issue before voters in November.

The initiative would let voters decide if alcohol sales should be allowed within the county.

There are opposing groups that have put up signs asking voters to not allow the issue to make the ballot.

According to the Crawford County clerk, more than 90,000 signatures were turned in earlier this month to be counted.  A little more than 9,000 were verified to be usable in the count and approximately 3,000 verified signatures are still needed for the initiative to make the ballot. The clerk's office will have until 5 p.m. tomorrow (Aug. 30) to decide whether enough signatures were collected.

"Whatever is certified to us at that point in time will go on the ballot. If we do not have the certification from the county clerk at that time then it will not go on the ballot," said Crawford County Election Commissioner Bill Coleman.

Sources said the clerk's office could see a potential lawsuit filed against it alleging some collected signatures should be counted. The clerk said some signatures were not counted because the person or persons collecting the signatures weren't certified to do so by state law.

In Johnson County, the clerk there is being sued by the group Stand Strong, Stay Dry, Be Safe. The lawsuit alleges the clerk did not certify paperwork according to state law and some canvassers were also not verified correctly. According to Johnson County clerk's office personnel, whether or not the issue will make the November ballot will be decided by a circuit court judge Wednesday.