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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Can You Get a Drink on Election Day?

    Because I live in Illinois, if I want to go to a bar and have a drink tomorrow after I vote, I can. But if I still lived in Kentucky, I could not.

    Seventy-five years after the Repeal of Prohibition, archaic Election Day alcohol sales bans continue to inconvenience consumers and hurt small businesses in a handful of states across the country.

    The only states that still cling to statewide Election Day sales bans of alcohol at restaurants, bars and package stores are Kentucky, Indiana and South Carolina. Utah and West Virginia still ban the sale of alcohol at package stores on Election Day. Alaska and Massachusetts also ban Election Day alcohol sales, except that local governments are authorized to provide an exemption from the ban.

    Delaware and Idaho repealed their bans earlier this year. Utah relaxed its ban and now permits Election Day sales in restaurants and private clubs.

    Before Prohibition, a favorite political tactic was the practice of "treating," in which political operatives would round up people who would rather drink than vote, ply them with alcohol, and then lead them to the polling place, sometimes going into the booth with them to make sure they voted correctly. In the 43 states, plus the District of Columbia, where these bans are no longer in effect, this practice does not appear to have been revived in the absence of the sales ban, so perhaps the remaining states can feel secure in bringing their laws up to date too.

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Can You Get a Drink on Election Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Seventy-five years after the Repeal of Prohibition, archaic Election Day alcohol sales bans continue to inconvenience consumers and hurt small businesses in a handful of states across the country.
    I grew up in a "dry" Kentucky county, but now live in a "wet" county. I have always seen these blue laws as being archaic and useless. It is obvious dry counties drive off business to wet counties. Furthermore, how ridiculous is it to not be able to purchase beer on Sunday??

    That being said, I no longer think I have an argument against blue laws (especially Sunday laws) when it comes to business owners. I have talked to many of the managers and owners of liquor stores here in Bowling Green, and they are actually in favor of keeping Sunday as a no alcohol day. They argue that they sell just as much product and only have to staff their stores 6 days a week. If it was repealed, they would have to stay open an extra day, but see no more sales.

    Just a thought.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Can You Get a Drink on Election Day?

    Some of the people in this community who work in liquor stores have made that same argument. Surprisingly, this argument is even made by people who consider themselves conservative, who you would think would hate the idea of the government arbitrarily telling you when you can buy or sell alcohol. The true conservative would say, "if you don't want to open on Sunday, you don't have to." While the phony conservative says, "Yes, but if the government doesn't let anybody open on Sunday, then I don't have to worry about those other guys stealing my business."

    What your guy in Bowling Green isn't telling you about is all the liquor stores in Bowling Green who barely have a store at all but who sell as much as a Liquor Mart. Those are the stores that expressly service the bootleggers who have a thriving business in Kentucky's dry counties. As an island of wet in a sea of dry, Bowling Green does a booming bootlegger business.

    Sure, I can drive to Bowling Green to get liquor, or I can just run down the road to see Burt, who's selling it out of his trunk.

    High gas prices are also good for the bootleggers.

    I've always been told that there are three entities that want to keep the dry areas dry: the bootleggers, the Baptist preachers, and the law enforcement officials who count on the bribes.

    I've also been told, not surprisingly, that the most bootlegged brand is Jack Daniel's.
    Last edited by cowdery; 11-03-2008 at 22:31.

  4. #4
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Can You Get a Drink on Election Day?

    Bowling Green is surrounded by dry counties and I live really close to the liquor store right next to the interstate exit (Chuck's). Everyone in there knows they are selling to bootleggers.

    I have a friend who just moved from the interstate store to one located on the other side of town. He said the biggest difference is that in his first week, he never had to use the dolly to load up people's cars. At the interstate store there is always someone loading up 10-20 cases of beer and whatever else.

    Just from watching, I have found the most popular product is Busch Light, but that is far from scientific.

    --------

    And to keep this post on topic. I cannot buy a drink today, but you had better believe I will raise a toast to _________ * (saved for the political forum).
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  5. #5
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Can You Get a Drink on Election Day?

    As I noted on your blog, Indiana bars can open after the polls close, or at least I assume, since the NABC is opening at 1800.

  6. #6
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    Re: Can You Get a Drink on Election Day?

    As a fellow Illinoisan I can drink today in a bar, as long as they continue to serve me.

    Chuck, an argument could be made that the true conservative supports blue laws, but supports them from a morality standpoint. The example that you used, or should I should say, made mention of, would, I think be an example of collusion amongst those in the liquor trade to limit competition. What if I own a liquor store or bar in one of those areas and I want to be open for business on election day or Sunday? I can't because in many cases a trust was formed among my competition, a trust that lobbied for the blue law.

    In any case, in a little while I'll head to the polls to register my impotent act of defiance, and then I may start drinkin'...........

  7. #7

    Re: Can You Get a Drink on Election Day?

    Interesting posts guys. I've resigned myself to the arcane thought processes of the fundamentalist folks who continue to keep blue laws in place but I've not heard of no drinking or liquor sales on Election Day before now. While Georgia has plenty of strange liquor laws and importation issues from the liquor distributor lobbyists there has been numerous tries to get alcohol sales on Sunday that have failed because of the [insert conservative religious group name here]'s pressure on lawmakers. Their rallying cry has been that we have 6 other days to buy booze so why mess up the Lord's Day?

    While not an election day thing I was in India for a while and Gandhi's Birthday is a national holiday there and there were no alcohol sales on that day. The maid service even put tape over the minibar fridge in our rooms asking us to politely not drink on the holiday.

  8. #8
    Moderator
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    Re: Can You Get a Drink on Election Day?

    I will be tonight at the bowling alley. Joe
    " I never met a Weller I didn't like"

  9. #9
    Disciple
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    Re: Can You Get a Drink on Election Day?

    All the bars and liquor stores are open tonight in Ohio. Never fear though, the best drink selection in this area is in my basement, which is always open, at least when I'm home. I put the TV on pause and go order another!

    Thomas

  10. #10
    Guru
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    Re: Can You Get a Drink on Election Day?

    As many or more than I can handle.. in my bunker... it is only Sunday before 10AM before I can buy here

 

 

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