Voters went to the polls on Tuesday in McDuffie County and approved the passage of a referendum which calls for the legalization of alcoholic beverage sales by the drink in restaurants on Sundays.
Forward McDuffie Director Mike Carrington applauded the news as he watched the returns being tallied at Elections Central on Tuesday night.
"This is terrific news for McDuffie County, because it means that our county has a chance to bring in some nice chain-type restaurants like Fatz, Appleby's, Ruby Tuesday's, etc.," Mr. Carrington said. "It's just another way that we can move forward with economic development."
A total of 5,227 voters or 56.59 percent, approved the passage of the referendum, while 4,009 voters, or 43.41 percent, cast opposition votes, according to unofficial results released by McDuffie County Elections Director Phyllis Wheeler. The figures showed a slight change from the ones earlier issued just after 8 p.m. when all of the county's precincts had been tallied.
None of the figures are official until they have been certified.
In past years, restaurant owners had told local officials they would be more interested in possibly coming to Thomson and McDuffie County, if Sunday alcohol sales were permitted.
"I'm hoping they meant what they said back then," Mr. Carrington said.
Now that it has been approved by voters, Sunday sales would likely begin in January.
Another referendum is planned for March 2009 that will allow voters living in the City of Thomson decide the same issue, according to Ms. Wheeler.