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Voters upheld a 48-year-old ban against off-site beer and liquor sales in Sparta.

The vote was 1,045 in favor of allowing liquor sales and 1,306 against. The ban against beer was more narrowly defeated with 1,136 voting to allow sales and 1,196 against.

The past three attempts to clear beer sales fell about 100 votes short. The closest previous margin of defeat was 99 votes in 2007, when it was the only question on the ballot. Voters also rejected measures in 1982, 1985, 1996 and 2005.

Retailers had claimed the ban on beer and liquor sales, in place since 1963, costs them crucial business and keeps much-needed revenue from the city.

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