SMITHFIELD — Two currently dry North Carolina areas will soon be offering mixed drinks. Raeford voters narrowly approved a referendum Tuesday on liquor-by-the-drink. A similar issue also passed in Johnston County.
Voter turnout was a low 14 percent in Raeford and the margin of victory was only 38. Turnout was higher in Johnston County at 22 percent. There, the measure passed by 108 votes.
For some in Johnston County this vote was about more than just the right to buy a drink in a restaurant. It was about progress and the price paid for it. The county has a population of about 100,000, and, according to developers, eight new people move in every day. Resident Chloe Grant says the growth has been enormous since she moved there.
Five new homes are built in Johnston County every day. That means what was recently a rural area is becoming increasingly more urbanized. Development Director Michael De Sherbinin says the growth is steady and rapid.
Whether or not the liquor vote is a sure sign of progress, some like the idea and others don't.
De Sherbinin says with growth, change is inevitable.
The votes still have to be certified. That will happen Friday.