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ATLANTA -- The results are in and Georgia voters in more than 100 municipalities and counties pulled the lever in favor of alcohol retail sales on Sunday.
As Election Day drew to a close yesterday, the news came that it will soon be legal to buy beer at a convenience store or a bottle of liquor at a liquor store on Sundays in 110 of the 127 municipalities and counties that held referendums on the issue, according to Reuters. Some areas saw overwhelming support for the issue, including Atlanta where more than 80 percent of the voters approved the measure.
The Georgia Association of Convenience Stores has supported giving voters a choice on the issue since the state legislature earlier this year approved a bill allowing city and county voters to decide the issue by referendum. Georgia law already allowed similar votes on whether to permit Sunday alcohol purchases by the drink at restaurants.
However, some liquor store owners opposed Sunday sales, arguing the cost of remaining open an extra day would offset any profits from extra sales, according to Jim Tudor, president of the c-store association.
Tudor told the news outlet that the sales were an issue of customer service and local control. He also predicted that alcohol sales on Sunday will help Georgia retailers in tourist areas where out-of-state visitors are often surprised to find stores cannot sell alcohol. Only two other states -- Connecticut and Indiana -- have statewide bans on alcohol retail sales on Sundays.
The state will continue to grapple with the issue in 2012 when nearly 500 other jurisdictions will have the chance to weigh in, said Matt Carrothers, spokesman for the Georgia Secretary of State's office. Many governments chose to delay a vote until 2012 because there were no other local issues on the ballot Tuesday, and they did not want to spend the money to hold an election on that one issue.