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Voters to decide on alcohol sales at Harrah’s

Voters in Cherokee will decide whether alcohol should be sold at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino now that enough signatures have been gathered to put the measure on the ballot.

The Cherokee Board of Elections has certified 1,536 signatures. Only 1,534 signatures, or 25 percent of the registered voters, were required to get the measure on the ballot.

Bob Blankenship, a member of the Petitioners committee that circulated the petition, said he is happy that the public will get to vote on the matter. He hopes the election will be held during the primary election the first Thursday in June.

Blankenship said the next step is for the Tribal Council to approve a resolution authorizing the Elections Board to conduct the referendum.

Chief Michell Hicks could veto the resolution and prevent the referendum from taking place, Blankenship said.

Although the chief in a statement issued last week said, “ Several community members who are in favor of exercising their right to a referendum vote on the issue of allowing alcohol to be sold at the casino have made their intentions clear by signing a petition, and have satisfied the requirement to begin the referendum process. This decision to introduce alcohol to the casino will be put to our enrolled members and I will fully support the results of their vote.”

Alcohol is banned in Cherokee but some believe that it should at least be allowed at the casino to help business.

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