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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Voters in Oklahoma Could Eliminate Election Day Prohibition

Back in the old days before politicians were slickly packaged and spent millions of dollars on massive television advertising campaigns attacking their opponents they used to get out and mix with the people. One way they found to turn out the vote was to buy a few drinks. You can say what you want about this type of electioneering, but the truth is that some of my long dead relatives likely got more satisfaction out of their vote than I have seen for many of mine.

Reformists fought against this sort of vote buying and a variety of bills were passed to protect voters and the democratic process from becoming corrupt. I leave it to you to be the judge on how successful these efforts have been.

In Oklahoma and other localities the answer was simple: declare a one day Prohibition and shutter stores selling alcohol. I guess back in those days politicians did not have garages to store booze that they bought the day before. On Nov. 7th, voters in Oklahoma have the chance to change a law that time has long since bypassed. Approval of Question 733 will mean that citizens in the state will be able to walk into a retail store on future election days and purchase alcohol. In 1984, Oklahoma finally allowed liquor by the drink. About half the counties in the state now allow this novel idea. So, while you could not walk into a store and buy a bottle on Nov. 7th, you are able in many parts of the state to park yourself at a bar and wait to see if your Congressman, state Representative or county Legislator shows up looking to curry favor.

Passing this ballot question should be a no brainer. Let's see how the votes add up on election night.

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