Section 11A. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the city council of any city and the selectmen of any town shall, upon the filing with the city or town clerk of a petition signed by registered voters of such city or town equal in number to at least one per cent of the whole number of registered voters therein and conforming to the provisions of section thirty-eight of chapter forty-three relative to initiative petitions, requesting that the question of licensing the sale in such city or town of alcoholic beverages in taverns be submitted to the voters thereof, call a special election to be held within a period of sixty days from the filing of such petition, and cause to be so submitted thereat the following question:—
“Shall licenses be granted in this city (or town) for the sale therein of alcoholic beverages in taverns?”
Except as otherwise provided in this section, in any city or town wherein a regular election is about to be held, the city council or selectmen, upon the filing of such a petition at least thirty days before such election, shall cause said question to be submitted to the voters thereof at such election. The foregoing question shall not be submitted to the voters of any city or town under this section oftener than once in two years.
If a majority of the votes cast in such a city or town in answer to the question hereinbefore set forth are in the affirmative, such city or town shall be taken to have authorized the sale therein in taverns of such alcoholic beverages, if any, as are from time to time lawfully authorized to be sold in such city or town, subject in all respects to the provisions of this chapter, but only pending the taking under this section of the next succeeding vote, if any, on such question.