CHARLESTON, W.Va., Oct. 5 (UPI) — West Virginia liquor retailers said they were delighted to keep their doors open Tuesday, the first time alcohol sales have been allowed on Election Day.
The retailers said Tuesday’s gubernatorial election marked the first time in 148 years they have been able to sell alcohol on an Election Day after the state Legislature rescinded the old law earlier this year, The Charleston Gazette reported.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Donnie Boggess, assistant manager at The Liquor Co. in Charleston. “It’s a positive for customers, all the bars and the independent guys like us across the state. It really helps us.”
The law, which was enacted at the time of the state’s founding in 1863, was designed in part to prevent candidates from influencing voters with liquor. The law applied only to retailers, allowing restaurants and bars to continue serving alcohol on election days.
“Our store owners across the state have fully stocked shelves and appreciate the opportunity to conduct business,” said Bridget Lambert, director of the West Virginia Retailers Association, which supported the repeal of the ban. “It’s refreshing that West Virginia has banished this antiquated law.”