For residents looking to place an item on a referendum to be approved by the voters of Newton County, several steps must be taken.
The following is a step-by-step look at the process for placing something, such as the sale of liquor by the bottle, on a referendum in unincorporated Newton County:
- Get a written petition containing the signatures of at least 35 percent of the registered and qualified voters of newton County.
- File the petition with the Election Superintendent of Newton County.
- The Election Superintendent validates that the names are of registered and qualified voters.
- After validation, the Superintendent should call and hold a referendum election.
- The Referendum Election is set for not less than 30 nor more than 60 days after the call during either a primary or election or special election in Newton County.
- Notice of the Call for Referendum must be placed in the newspaper by Election Superintendent and published once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the date of the Referendum Election.
- If the Referendum is approved by a majority of voters, then it goes into effect. If the Referendum is disapproved by a majority of voters, another election can be held after two years.
The Newton County Board of Commissioners discussed this process during a presentation by County Attorney Megan Martin regarding an alcoholic beverage ordinance during the Nov. 5, 2019, Regular Meeting.
See Martin’s full presentation here.