Pendleton County voters will make the decision on the November ballot as to whether or not alcohol sales will be allowed in the rest of the county.
Presently, alcohol can only be purchased in Falmouth and at Pendleton Hills. Falmouth voters allowed alcohol sales many years ago and state statute allows golf courses to sell alcohol on site.
For the rest of the county, alcohol sales either at a restaurant or at a store are prohibited.
District Two Magistrate Josh Plummer had made the issue part of his campaign in the 2016 election. Earlier in the year, he began the petition process to put on the ballot in November.
On Tuesday, August 11, County Clerk Rita Spencer received the petitions with over 1,400 signatures, according Plummer.
Signatures are legit if they are registered voters in Pendleton County with complete addresses, year of birth, correct date and legible.
Spencer reported to Falmouth Outlook that after removing signatures for not living in the county, unreadable, no full address or double signing, there were 1,055 signatures.
The issue needed 1,045 signatures. That is based on 25 percent of the registered voters who voted in the 2018 General Election.
“Shew, is was a close one,” said Plummer who was appreciative of the volunteers gathering signatures and the businesses supporting the issue.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that we were able to get enough signatures even after someone had stolen four of the books” he added while pointing out the economic benefit this issue could bring to the county.
The issue will be on the ballot in the November 3 General Election that also includes a race for the Presidency, Mitch McConnell’s Senate seat and Thomas Massie U. S. Representative seat as well as city council races for Butler and Falmouth.
In Kentucky Revised Statute, it reads that the wording on the ballot will say, “Are you in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages in Pendleton County?” with Yes or No being the choices.
The General Election will be similar to what voters saw in the Primary Election in June. Governor Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Micheal Adams announced on Friday, August 7, a compromise for the November election.
“Governor Beshear and I maintained our principles, but put party aside to fashion election rules that are fair to every voter regardless of party,” Secretary Adams said. “We kept the best of what worked in the June primary – especially giving voters options to safely cast their votes – and we built on that record with improvements – more in-person voting locations, and faster election results.
Major parts of the plan are:
Any voter of any age or health condition who believes he or she is at risk from COVID-19 may vote absentee ballot. Eligibility to vote absentee also extends to voters who are in contact with such vulnerable voters.
Early in-person voting will begin on October 13, and will include Saturday voting.
Photo ID to Vote, Secretary Adams’ signature legislative initiative, will be implemented, but limited relief is granted: Any person who is not able to get a Photo ID due to COVID-19 will be able to vote with a non-photo ID. Also, absentee voters who have a Photo ID but are not able to provide a copy of it will be able to vote.
The voter registration portal that was such a success in June will open again and link to Kentucky’s drivers license database.
Beshear issued an executive order that outlined the procedure.
“Secretary Adams and I were able to put partisanship aside and develop a plan for the General Election that puts the health and safety of Kentuckians first,” Gov. Beshear said. “This plan provides more time and options to vote in this General Election than ever before.”
Kentucky received positive national attention for the success the commonwealth had in the primary election with near record turnout while allowing Kentuckians to vote safely during the pandemic.
While the nation is embroiled in a debate on mail-in ballots, Kentucky has seemed to avoid the issue with the agreement. Absentee ballots are allowed.
The national issue is not over absentee ballots but rather a new option being touted--mail-in ballots.
According to The New York Times, at least three-quarters of all American voters will be eligible to receive a ballot in the mail for the 2020 election.
Nine states and the District of Columbia, according to the Times, have ballots mailed automatically to all registered voters. They are Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Jersey, Hawaii and Vermont.
The question raised by Trump in these states is there is no proof of who is casting the votes of a mail-in ballot.
While he has defended the use of absentee ballots and in fact casts his vote in that manner in the state of Florida, he has expressed concern on the mail-in ballots.
One issue that the extended window of voting brings about is that any late movement in the election cannot be examined by voters who have voted early in the election cycle.
In the Democrat race for Senate challenger to Mitch McConnell, Charles Booker made a substantial move against Amy McGrath in the last weeks. The racial tensions and protests seemed to help Booker as he was part of protests in Louisville and when asked, McGrath answered that she was home with family instead of at the protest.
Those who had voted either in-person or by mail early in June could not take these late breaking events into consideration.
The same will be true for those casting their absentee ballots or in-person voting when the early voting starts on October 13.
With Presidential elections having an “October surprise,” it will be of note to see how the campaigns alter strategies to address those that choose to vote early.