Illegal votes were likely in liquor referendum

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (AP) -- Depositions in a court case challenging the referendum that allowed liquor-by-the-drink in Pigeon Forge show that some people likely did vote illegally.

The Mountain Press reports a registrar testified that she was instructed to let everyone who was on her roster vote on the referendum, regardless of whether they lived in the city.

Registrars were supposed to have checked addresses and highlighted the slips of paper that are handed to machine operators.

The measure passed by just 100 votes and there are 289 questionable votes.

The case is set for trial on Jan. 10.

In the meantime, some local restaurants already have obtained liquor licenses. The state Alcoholic Beverage Commission said even if the referendum is struck down, they could retain their licenses unless the judge rules otherwise.

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