The City of Austell and unincorporated Cobb voters said yes to Sunday alcohol sales in Tuesday’s vote.
Sixty percent of the Sunday alcohol sales referendum votes in Austell were in favor of the measure. That percentage was even higher for unincorporated Cobb County with 70 percent of the 77,848 voters saying yes for the sale of malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits on Sundays.
Ken Hawkins of Austell supported the measure because “if you can’t get it here, you’ll get it somewhere else,” and his wife, Peggie, opposed it. She said she voted no for religious reasons.
“I think Sunday should be honorable. It’s not going to help the city or any of the county,” she said.
When the Georgia General Assembly passed S.B. 10 to allow jurisdictions the choice to allow citizens to vote on Sunday alcohol sales, South Cobb officials and representatives said they supported allowing voters the right to decide if alcohol could be sold on Sundays.
Then, Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins said he saw no reason that the measure could not be placed on the November ballot.
However, the City of Austell did not place the referendum on its November municipal ballot, but the cities of Acworth, Kennesaw and Smyrna did, and the measure passed in each city. City council members voted in December to place it on the March ballot after county commissioners in November decided the referendum would be placed on the ballot with the presidential preference primary.
Because the county board of elections handled the election, the city paid $875 to add the referendum to the ballot.
The measure also passed in Powder Springs and in Marietta.
Retailers in unincorporated Cobb County can sell alcohol on Sundays beginning June 3.
What South Cobb voters had to say about Sunday alcohol sales:YES
- “I don’t have to go to Atlanta to buy beer. It’s closer to home. I think the closest one is Smyrna.”-Monica Holley of Austell
- “What’s the difference in Sunday and Thursday?” –Terrell Holley of Austell
- “I think what it’s going to help is probably the grocery stores.” –Austell City Councilwoman Trudie Causey, who said she does not necessarily support the sale of alcohol on Sundays, but supports the city receiving more revenue
- “I support it…My mother always said, ‘Don’t do anything on Sunday that you wouldn’t do on any other day of the week.’”- Etthylean Causey, 80 of Austell, who said she wants the city to get the additional revenue
- “I do support it. I just don’t like the state telling us when we can buy and when we can’t buy anything. We can recognize a holy day and still have the freedom to buy liquor if we choose responsibly.” –Jill Williams of Austell
- “I voted no. It’s one day I don’t have to worry about it. It’s a holy day.” –Taffine Tinsley of Austell
- "I think people can get it on Saturday, so they'll probably buy more on Saturday, thinking they're going to run out on Sunday."
-Mableton resident Elizabeth Streetman
- "I think the Sabbath should be revered. You know, you got six days you can buy alcohol. Give it a break a day." -Eddie Alexander of Mableton