Johnson said she will enter the names of the signers into a computer program which will alphabetize the names, thereby making it easier to spot duplicates.
The signatures were gathered last year on cards mailed to city and county residents. Both sides said they knew some people got more than one card and some residents received none.
The ad says it was paid for by Mercer Pride & Progress, the organization that has opposed any form of legal alcohol sales either throughout the county or just in Harrodsburg. It says, "Mercer Pride and Progress Committee is considering publishing the complete list of voters who sign the current petition if the (Harrodsburg Local Option Committee) is successful in obtaining enough signatures to have the county clerk certify it. In any event, check our web site at good4mercer.org."
Conover said MP&P has considered publishing the names before, but has always declined and likely would do so again.
The names are public record, as the ad points out. "Many people aren't aware of this fact," the ad says. However, if MP&P does not publish the names, "There are people who will see they are published," Conover said.
Chairman of local option committee declines comment
Phillip Crump, chairman of the Harrodsburg Local Option Committee, the group backing legal alcohol sales, said Thursday night that he has no comment about the ad. When asked if he sees the ad as a threat to possible signers of the petition, Crump said, "They have the right to advertise and tell people to vote no. We're going around asking people to sign to get it on the November ballot. That's all we're doing.
"I'm not going to respond to it. The committee is not going to respond. We're going to let the voters respond. We want the people of Harrodsburg to vote for or against it."
Crump said 626 signatures, the number necessary to get the question on the ballot, must be turned in to the Mercer County clerk's office on Sept. 4.
The supporters of liquor by the drink are using a different method for obtaining the signatures. "We're walking around town (door-to-door) asking people to sign it," Crump said. "If they want to, fine; if they don't, fine. Everybody has the right to say yes or no."
The ad says in bold-face type, "Under the process as we understand it, the possibility exists, but has not necessarily occurred, that a person's name could be used on the petition without the person's knowledge. By having easier access to the certified list of names, any interested person with an Internet connection could easily check for their name(s) on the certified list once published."
The final sentence in the ad, and not in bold type, says, "We encourage you to inquire with the HLOC if you would like to insure that your name is not on their petition; or to remove your name if you did not sign the petition."