With several neighboring counties recently voting to allow alcohol to be sold, Grayson County residents signed a petition to agree to a local vote on whether or not the county should go “Wet.”
On Tuesday, Jan. 12, the polls in Grayson County will open for a special election for this vote. Residents are encouraged to visit their polling place and cast a yes or no vote to determine whether to legalize the sale of alcohol.
“All of the regular polls are open as usual except for the ones that were at schools,” said Grayson County Clerk Sherry Weedman. “The schools will be open on Jan. 12, and we cannot hold an election in those places, so we had to rearrange a few places.”
Voters who vote in the North and North A, along with Arlington Precinct, and normally vote at Grayson County Middle School or Grayson County High School will vote at the Centre on Main.
Those who vote in the Clarkson Precinct and normally vote at Clarkson Elementary School will vote at the Community Center/City Hall in Clarkson.
Everyone else will visit his or her regular polling place.
In 2014, voters chose to allow alcoholic drinks to be sold by-the-drink at Rough River Dam State Resort Park, securing the same by-the-drink sales ability, which was passed inside the Leitchfield city limits thanks to a 2010 vote.
This vote originated from a petition that was signed and delivered to the county clerk. Then a date was set to hold the election on Jan 12.
Rough River Business & Tourism Director Charlie Corbett, who was responsible for the petition, looks for economic growth.
“Small businesses such as gas stations, lake area convenience stores, and rural area restaurants would likely see approximately $8,000-$15,000 additional profits from the sale of alcoholic beverages.” said Corbett. “In the small business world, this is a sizable revenue stream that helps keep the business operating. It also eliminates the time wasted by business owners giving customers directions to the nearest place where alcohol can be purchased.”
From the other camp, Citizens Against Alcohol leader Chester Shartzer argued that to not vote at all is actually a yes vote.
“The biggest problem we will have is that people will not get out and vote,” Shartzer said. “If we do not vote against it, it will pass, and then we will be making alcohol more available for those who have a hard time saying, ‘No.’”
Shartzer compared legalizing the sale of alcohol and making it more available to those who have a problem with it to someone who has a problem giving up sweets.
“It is like this: If I have a hard time giving up sweets, and my wife bakes a pecan pie and sets it on the table, I am going to eat that pie,” said Shartzer. “But if I have to travel to your house to get that sweet, I am going to leave it alone. Why make alcohol easier to get?”
If the vote passes and alcohol sales are legalized, KRS statutes allow a precinct to vote itself “DRY” independent of the count, so residents in communities who do not want alcohol sales in their area can vote it out.
Reach Theresa Armstrong at 270-259-9622, ext. 2011.