Wet-Dry Elections On Rise in Kentucky

Local News

Residents in Maceo in Daviess County, approving alcohol sales in the town’s wet-dry election, the latest Kentucky community to decide on alcohol sales. Residents approved the measure by a 63 to 51 margin. 

Local and state officials say more cities and counties across Kentucky are holding elections.

Another community, another wet-dry election.

“They voted before, and it didn’t pass, I think its going to be a close one,” says Charles Payne of Maceo.

Maceo residents, the latest community to decide on alcohol sales, in an election becoming more common across the commonwealth.

“I believe everybody has the right to their opinion, has the right to their vote,” says Loretta Owens of Maceo.

“I think Ohio County had a city that went wet, then turned around, tried a county wide vote, it didn’t vote. And now, they’ve got another city trying to go wet,” adds Daviess Co. Chief Deputy Clerk Richard House.

Officials with the Alcoholic Beverage Control say there have been 30 wet-dry elections in Kentucky so far this year, a sharp increase from last year’s total of 18. One reason for the increase: rule changes. Lawmakers dropped a requirement of cities to have more than 3,000 residents to have an election.

But all these wet-dry elections aren’t being done for free. County clerks tell us it can cost at least a few thousand dollars to hold each one.

House says the Maceo election will cost the county $2,400. Whitesville’s election back in June cost them $3,800.

“I think its a trend we’re going to continue to see, and it’s a costly trend for local governments because they don’t budget for wet-dry elections, and they have to bear the cost of them,” he says. “So that’s becoming a big issue.”

House and some voters think the trend will keep going.

“I think there are other smaller communities that are going to step up and place votes too,” says Owens.

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