Associated Press Writer
ATHENS, Ala. (AP) -- Voters in Athens decided Tuesday to continue to allow the sale of alcohol in the city's stores and restaurants, according to unofficial results.
City clerk John Hamilton said 6,318, or 53 percent, of the city's registered voters turned out for the citywide elections. Of those voters, 4,288, or 68 percent, voted against the measure to end the sale of alcohol in Athens and 2,030, or 32 percent, voted for the measure.
Public policy experts said such prohibition votes aren't unheard of, but they are rare.
The wet-to-dry vote came less than four years after the north Alabama city of 22,000 narrowly decided to legalize the sale of beer, wine and liquor in stores and restaurants. While opponents back then feared an influx of bars and nightclubs, even they now credit city leaders with keeping tight reins on the sale of alcohol.
Pastors and church leaders who led the petition drive to put the issue before voters said alcohol sales should be outlawed on moral grounds, but supporters cast the issue in financial and quality-of-life terms.
Don't you just love 'moralists'? Why is it so hard for some 'Christian' types to understand that their morals are not the same as other peoples morals and that they really have no right or grounds on which to force their way of life on other people? You don't wanna drink a beer....fine with me...I'll never tempt you with one. But to try and outlaw the sale of alcohol to other people is just wrong. I see absolutely nothing morally wrong about consuming alcohol. The first miracle of Jesus was turning water into wine so where do these folks get off claiming alcohol is immoral? Was Jesus immoral for the results of his first miracle?
Anyway, I am very glad the voters of Athens, AL soundly rejected this attempt to retreat into the dark ages of alcohol prohibition. I believe I will have to go up there and have a beer soon to celebrate with the citiznery.