November 16, 2010

One-stop absentee voting on mixed drinks begins Nov. 18


The Dare County Board of Elections will operate two one-stop absentee voting sites for the Dec. 7 referendum on serving liquor by the drink in restaurants and other venues in Hatteras Township, which includes the southern villages of Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras.

Only registered voters in the three villages affected can vote in the referendum. Voter registration is available at both one-stop sites.

One-stop absentee voting will begin on Thursday, Nov. 18, and continue through Dec. 3 on Hatteras Island and Dec. 4 at the Board of Elections office in Manteo

One-stop absentee voting sites are:

  • Dare County Board of Elections office, 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive, Manteo. Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., beginning Thursday, Nov. 18, through Friday, Dec. 3. On Saturday, Dec. 4, hours are 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
  • Fessenden Center, 46830 Highway 12, Buxton. Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., beginning Thursday, Nov. 18, and ending on Friday, Dec. 3.

One-stop absentee voting will not be available on Nov. 25 and 26 in observance of Thanksgiving holidays.  The elections office in Manteo and Fessenden Center in Buxton will be closed.

On Election Day, Tuesday, Dec. 7, polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Persons with questions about registration, absentee ballots, one-stop voting, and other election matters can call the Board of Elections office at 252-475-5630 or 475-5631.

September 29, 2010

Three Hatteras villages will be voting on mixed drinks on Dec. 7


Some Hatteras islanders will be voting again this year on the controversial issue of liquor by the drink in local restaurants and other venues.

Yesterday, the Dare County Board of Elections approved a petition by voters for a referendum in Hatteras Township only, which includes the southern island villages of Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras.

The referendum is set for Tuesday, Dec. 7, and only voters in Hatteras Township are eligible to vote and only establishments in the southern villages would be able to sell liquor by the drink if it passes.

Melva Garrison, director of the Dare County Board of Elections, confirmed that a group of Hatteras islanders had turned in a petition last week and asked for a referendum.

In order to get the referendum, the organizers needed the signatures of 25 percent of the registered voters in Hatteras Township.  That would be, Garrison said, 581 signatures, all of which needed to be verified. 

Garrison confirmed on Monday that there were more at least the required number of signers.

The organizers of this year’s attempt to get mixed drinks into restaurants that by law can serve only beer and wine on Hatteras Island is Dennis Robinson of Midgett Realty, who signed the request with the board of elections to get the petition drive started.

“I feel it would be a great amenity for the three villages for people to be able to have a mixed beverage in a restaurant,” Robinson said.

He said, and other restaurants owners confirm, that many visitors continue to order mixed drinks at restaurants and are surprised to find they are not available.

And Robinson noted another reason that played a prominent role in a failed 2007 referendum on liquor by the drink – mixed drinks are available on the northern beaches and have been available to the south in Ocracoke since early 2007.

This, supporters say, would “level the playing field” in the Hatteras villages.

Robinson said that this year’s petition drive focused on Hatteras Township – Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras village – because organizers thought that, based on the 2007 vote, the referendum has a better chance of passing on the southern end of the island.

It lost by larger margins in Kinnakeet Township – Avon, Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo – in 2007.

Those villages also sought another referendum this year on liquor by the drink, Garrison said, but did not garner enough signatures.

The 2007 referendum on mixed drinks was defeated by a decisive margin.  Results were 855, or 56.55 percent, against and 657 or 43.45 in favor.

However, the referendum fared much better in Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras than in the northern villages.  It lost by only seven votes in Buxton, one vote in Frisco, and actually won by 33 votes in Hatteras.

By contrast, Avon voted down liquor by the drink by a margin of 53 votes, as did the tri-villages by a margin of 41 votes.

The referendum also tanked in absentee and early voting by a margin of 260 against and 133 for.

In 2007, the opposition to liquor by the drink was led by island churches, and that is expected to be the case again this year.


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