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Fiscal Court to vote on Election Day alcohol sales

BY CORIANNE EGAN cegan@paducahsun.com

Pending a vote on Monday night, McCracken County residents may be able to purchase alcoholic beverages on election days.

Assistant County Attorney Sam Clymer, who drafted the new alcohol ordinance, said the state allows counties to oppose the measure, approve it or to leave out language all together in county laws, which in turn requires the area to adhere to state laws on the matter. McCracken County will default to state law, he said.

Residents will have the chance to comment on the matter during Monday night's Fiscal Court meeting, which will be held in the McCracken County Courthouse at 6 p.m.

The legislature last year voted to allow the sales on election days, as part of revamped alcohol legislation in Senate Bill 13. The new legislation cut down the available types of liquor and alcohol sales licenses from 88 to 44.

McCracken's ordinance, which will come up for vote after public comments and a workshop Monday night, will be the first time the county's alcohol laws have been updated since the 1950s, Judge-Executive Van Newberry said.

The Paducah City Commission passed a similar ordinance in December. The practice of banning the sale of alcohol on election days dates to a time when saloons served as polling stations, said Ben Jenkins, of the Kentucky Distilled Spirits Council.

"It doesn't make any sense in today's economy or in today's practices," Jenkins said. "The laws are a relic of another time."

Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652 or follow @CoriEgan on Twitter.

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