In Kentucky and South Carolina, No Booze on Election Day

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Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Barack Obama stops for a beer at The Pump House, a pub and grill, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Aug. 14, 2012.

Tomorrow evening, many Americans will might have a drink or two — to celebrate the election results, mourn their losses or kill a few brain cells with drinking games until this endless election season is over. But in Kentucky and South Carolina the festivities will likely be much more restrained.

These states still uphold restrictions on the sale or serving of alcohol on Election Day, although seventy-nine years have passed since the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition. Since 2008 five states with similar laws — Indiana, Delaware, Utah, Idaho and West Virginia — have lifted the bans, which reportedly were instituted to prevent the exchange of votes for liquor, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

(WATCH: Taste Test: Beer with Extra Buzz)

“The Election Day sales ban is a relic of the Prohibition era when saloons sometimes served as polling stations,” Ben Jenkins, vice president of DISCUS, said to Yahoo! News. “Repealing the ban on Election Day alcohol sales would provide consumers with much-needed convenience — whether they’re celebrating election returns or mourning them.”

One of Kentucky’s legislators, Democratic Representative Arnold Simpson, has tried to lift the booze ban five times — most recently in early July — without success. Simpson argues that buying votes with alcohol is an issue of the past. The state’s restaurants, bars and stores lose $4.5 million in revenue each year due to the ban, according to Kentucky.com.

South Carolina representatives, on the other hand, have made no move to change their law, which prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sundays and on election days. Violators face misdemeanor charges, which include jail time (between 60 days and two years for first and third offenders, respectively) or fines (between $200 and $2,000 for first and third offenders, respectively).

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4 comments
misterbrown
misterbrown

Do a little research - it's called journalism...Kentucky prohibits the sale of alcohol on Election Day only while the polls are open.  Who is drinking booze before 6 p.m. on a weekday that is affected by this? 

I agree, the law is probably unnecessary and antiquated, but seriously, do a little research before you post your story.  Time Magazine - I know you are trying to avoid Newsweek's fate, but how about y'all get JuJu and JuJu's editor to do some due diligence (fact check?) next time before popping off about something they clearly do not fully understand.

GerritVerstoep
GerritVerstoep

In the twenty plus years I have lived in South Carolina I have never had a problem buying a drink on election day - and I don't live in Myrtle Beach. Bars and restaurants are open and serving and the grocery and convenience stores sell beer and wine. The only  thing that's closed are the state licensed Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stores that sell hard liquor by the bottle.

Kayla921
Kayla921

This article is really misleading. In South Carolina, it's only the ABC stores that are closed -- which sell hard spirits.  Where I live (Myrtle Beach area) I can still get a drink at a bar or restaurant and buy beer/wine at the grocery store (and can do so even on Sundays!) Y'all might want to fact check a wee bit more.

DonColton
DonColton

Have never had a problem getting  beer o\(or any other adult beverge) on election dy in the 25 years Ive lived here In Myrtle BEach SC