by: Manuel Bojorquez Updated:COBB COUNTY, Ga. —
Cobb County voters will have to cast their ballots again on the issue of Sunday alcohol sales.
The new vote will only apply to sales in unincorporated parts of the county, and not those already approved by voters in Cobb cities. The problem with the original ballots is that voters within city limits were not allowed to vote on the county-wide ordinance, according to a court order.
A Superior Court Judge ordered a new referendum on July 31, based on a state law that says all electors should have a say in the matter.
"The electors of the county include people that live within our six cities and due to a legal error, that wasn't done," said Marietta attorney Justin O'Dell, who filed the findings on behalf of voters.
An estimated 90,000 voters approved Sunday sales in their respective cities, but their ballots did not include the question of Sunday sales county-wide. Those sales, though approved, have not started.
O'Dell said the possible delay might upset some retailers in those parts of the county, but all voices deserve to be heard.
"When you start to do that, you start to erode the integrity of the electoral process. Even if something seems like it might be inevitable or going to happen, no matter what, elections have to be done correctly," O'Dell said.
Hank Treece agrees that all valid voters should decide.
"They didn't have an opportunity at first, so they should have it," he said.
He voted against Sunday sales and said he'll do it again.
Another resident, Wendy Lum voted yes.
"It's kind of the pits having to go back again because we did vote. My husband and I both voted," she said, adding she would go back to the polls in July.
The Sunday sales referendum would be added to other items already on the ballot for July 31, so taxpayers will not have to pay for a special election on the matter.
But a new vote, depending on the outcome, could push that starting date for Sunday sales in unincorporated parts from June 1 to some time in to late summer or fall.