Well, I am surprised.
The online version of the Morganton News Herald is reporting that voters passed all the initiatives for alcohol sales in Valdese. The results are unofficial, but here are the numbers.
The vote for beer sales passed 1,054 to 514.
The vote for wine sales passed 1,051 to 512.
The vote for an ABC store passed 998 to 560.
The vote for liquor by the drink passed 1,034 to 533.
Turnout was just over 50% - not bad for a dinky little election in an established democracy.
The reason I'm surprised is based on everything I saw, I didn't think it stood a chance. It was not only the amount of signs around against the measure greatly out numbered the signs supporting the measure. We received a phone call from a group wanting to ask "survey" questions about it - they just happened to be from the East Valdese Baptist Church. And we (and I assume everybody else in town) received a flier pointing out the evils of alcohol just before election day. This did not have a return address on it, but it doesn't take much brain power to figure out where it came from. My impression, and it may have been inaccurate, was that the people opposed were much more organized, felt much more strongly about it, and had a lot more money than the people who supported it.
North Carolina went for Barack Obama in the last presidential election, and now the citizens of Valdese have voted to allow alcohol sales. If this isn't proof that the end of time is near, I don't know what is. (SARCASM - I know sarcasm doesn't always come over well in emails and blogs, so I wanted to make sure everybody understood. This is me being sarcastic. Real proof of the end of time is this cold weather we've been having).
This will probably bring new business to town, and I guess allow a couple of restaurants to serve beer or wine if they want. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. It's not going to be the apocolypse that those who were opposed predicted - after all you can take a short drive to Morganton or Hickory and buy all the alcohol you want, by the case or by the drink. But there will be some changes in town.
Meanwhile, I am surprised.
I did go and vote today - IN THE SNOW!! Then I went to Food Lion, the scariest grocery store on earth, but that's a whole other issue.