Kentucky Senate Passes Bill Allowing Alcohol Sales on Election Day

The Kentucky State Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would remove the prohibition of alcohol sales on election days while polls are open.

The bill wouldn't supersede the authority of dry counties in determining alcohol availability—but areas that wanted to continue the prohibition of election day alcohol sales could vote to do so.

One aim of the bill: Business that rely on alcohol sales—and also tourist destinations along Kentucky's Bourbon Trail—would be allowed to remain open on election days.

State Sen. Jimmy Higdon, a Republican from Lebanon, said keeping the Bourbon Trail fully operational on election days was a reason for his support.

"Some people don't quite understand sometimes what happens when these businesses are closed down on election day," Higdon said. "One of the fastest growing tourist attractions in the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the Bourbon Trail and on election day they are closed."

Senate Bill 13 is  sponsored by State Senator John Schickel, a Republican from Union.

"On its face it seems like a relatively minor bill," said Shickel, a retired law enforcement officer. "But I can assure you it's not a minor thing to our small restaurant owners, our tavern owners, and other small business persons."

Senate Bill 13 passed 29 to 8 out of the State Senate and now moves to the Kentucky House of Representatives for consideration.