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One Sunday sales measure passes, another defeated
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How the county voted

Total Percentage

Sunday sales by the drink

Yes 2,887 51.2

No 2,749 48.8

Sunday package sales of beer and wine

Yes 2,849 50.2

No 2,823 49.8

Republican Primary

Newt Gingrich 2,252 41.1

Rick Santorum 1,537 28.1

Mitt Romney 1,245 22.7

Ron Paul 396 7.2

Democratic Primary

Barack Obama 180 100

In narrow votes Tuesday, one referendum on Sunday alcohol sales in Effingham County passed and one failed.

The county’s choice for the Republican presidential nominee, meanwhile, was much clearer.

Sunday package sales of beer and wine were shot down by a margin of just 26 votes, with 2,849 voting against it and 2,823 supporting it.

Voters did approve Sunday sales of liquor by the drink in restaurants, with 2,887 (51.2 percent) for it and 2,749 (48.8 percent) opposed.

Newt Gingrich earned 41 percent of Effingham County’s vote in the Republican presidential primary, with 2,252 votes. Rick Santorum came in second with 28 percent, Mitt Romney was third with 23 percent and Ron Paul finished a distant fourth with 7 percent.

Gingrich had an even larger winning margin statewide with 47 percent of the vote, compared to 26 percent for Romney, 19 percent for Santorum and 6 percent for Paul.

Local residents won’t have to wait long for Sunday liquor by the drink sales in restaurants. Effingham County leaders drafted the ordinance so that, if voters passed the measure, it would be effective as soon as the results are certified.

The county has allowed for sales of liquor by the drink from Monday through Saturday since voters approved it four years ago. Now, Sunday sales of liquor, beer and wine by the drink can take place from 12:30 p.m. to midnight, provided the establishments doing so have at least 50 percent of their annual gross sales from food.

A little more than one-fifth of Effingham County’s 27,835 registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday. The 5,746 voters paled in comparison to the turnout for the 2008 alcohol referendum, in which almost half the county’s registered voters participated and approved liquor by the drink sales with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

Tuesday’s numbers are unofficial until the county’s provisional ballots are tabulated and the results are certified by elections officials. The official results are expected later today.