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GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina town known as Christmastown USA is poised to vote on the sale of alcohol.

The Gaston Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/NIfUIP) McAdenville resident Greg Richardson led a petition drive in June and collected enough signatures from registered voters to force a special ABC election on Oct. 2.

Richardson is a Charlotte attorney who launched his petition drive after losing hope that the McAdenville Town Council would put the alcohol referendum on the ballot.

County officials announced the election Tuesday after certifying the signatures.

McAdenville Mayor Farrell Buchanan said he was blindsided when he learned the special election had been scheduled. Buchanan said he doesn't favor putting the measure up for a vote among residents, and said he didn't know that could happen without the town council's approval.

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