TYLER - The first signatures were placed today on a petition calling for a vote this November on the legal sale of beer and wine in Tyler and Smith County precinct JP 2.

Registered voters in Tyler and Smith County JP 2 will have a chance to sign the petition for the next 60 days at a number of retailers and restaurants in the Tyler area. A complete list is available at www.buy-local-first.org

During a press conference on the square in Downtown Tyler ,The Buy Local First Committee said in order to call for an election, state law requires the group to collect at least 7,800 signatures from registered voters in the City of Tyler and 6,700 signatures from voters in JP 2. The petition would then be presented to the Tyler City Council and the Smith County Commissioners before it can be placed on the November ballot.

Citizens can sign two petitions, one calling for a local option election that would include the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only, and to expand the current legal sale of alcohol in restaurants in all of JP 2, which includes southwestern Tyler, Flint , Noonday and Bullard.

That particular issue was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2008 and would expand to more areas, as well as eliminates the private membership requirement at establishments that serve alcohol.