“We are out putting up flyers, posting window decals and we will start running radio ads tomorrow,” Live Free Springfield Chairman Dave Meyers said. On Tuesday, he handed out fliers to downtown customers.
Across the city, supporters of One Air Alliance made phone calls and prepared signs to place in front yards. “I wanted to see if we can count on your vote on June 5th,” a volunteer asked a caller over the phone.
Both sides of the Springfield smoking debate are campaigning down to the wire. Supporters of One Air Alliance, who oppose a repeal of the smoking ban, say a “no” vote keeps Springfield smoke free and workers healthy. “Workers in this community can go to work and their health is not jeopardized by second hand smoke,” spokesperson Stephen Hall said. “That's the great news. This law is so important for that reason. At the heart of this law is the protection of workers here in Springfield.”
Members of Live Free Springfield, who support a repeal of the smoking ban, say a “yes” vote will give business owners and their customers a choice. “This is not about smoking and it is really not about health,” Meyers said. “This is about property, this is about freedom, this is about liberty. They say they are protecting workers, there are all kinds of workers in this city that would rather have a job and meet their bills.”
Supporters on both sides agree turnout is key. “Turnout is extremely important. You've heard it said 'my one vote doesn't count that's not the case here,'” Meyers said. “Every single vote will count.”
“Anytime you only have one issue on the ballot there is a risk of low turnout and we know every vote matters,” Hall said.
If the repeal passes, Springfield would revert back to the previous smoking regulations which allow smoking in restaurants if liquor is 50% of a business's profits or if liquor sales total $200,000 or more a year. Restaurants that sell liquor will also be able to allow smoking in a separately ventilated area. If the repeal does not pass, the current regulations would remain in effect.