Food & Drink

Election Day Alcohol Laws Still Ban Booze Sales In Two States


Looking forward to popping into a bar after work to watch the election results roll in from across the country over a few pints of beer? You'd better not live in Louisville or Charleston -- or anywhere else in Kentucky or South Carolina. Because those are the last two states in the country to have laws banning the sale of alcohol on Election Day on the books.

In Kentucky, the booze ban only lasts until polls close at 6 p.m., but it goes all day in South Carolina.

Five other states -- Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Utah and West Virginia -- had similar laws this time four years ago, but have since repealed them. All were artifacts of stricter Prohibition-era blue laws, many of which have been rolled back across the country in recent years. The Election Day laws in particular have been traced back to a desire to combat the 19th century tradition of corrupt political bosses trading votes for free booze -- a practice that seems almost quaint in the era of Citizens United.

That may mean that the days are numbered for the booze bans in Kentucky and South Carolina. But for this year, if contentious pollsters are to be believed, there's a 90 percent chance that a majority of voters in those two states are going to be disappointed by the outcome of the election. Which will mean that a lot of voters in Kentucky are going to be happy that their booze ban ends at 6 p.m., and that a lot of South Carolinians are going to have no place to drown their sorrows.

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