Sunday, December 08, 2013

I did not know that (with apologies to Johnny Carson)

By Richard K. Barry

At Esquire, Alan Goldfarb writes this interesting bit on the prohibition in certain states on drinking alcohol on Election Day before the polls are closed:
I don’t know about you, but on a typical Election Day I like to wake up, hit my local saloon, drink til the ballot looks blurry, and then head to my district’s polling center. I’ve found there’s no easier way to go from undecided voter to deciding I want to vote for: a slice of pizza. Luckily, I live in New York where tippling on Election Day is legal, but if I lived in Alaska, Kentucky, or South Carolina, I wouldn’t be allowed to imbibe whatsoever because alcohol cannot be served on Election Day until the polls close. (This is still a relic of a century ago when bars actually served as polling centers.) Looking at the list of men and women running those states, I have to wonder if perhaps they’d be faring better if a drunk electorate had done the voting instead.

I supposed it's fair to ask if, for example, the voters of Alaska chose someone as stupid as Sarah Palin as their governor because they were too drunk or too sober. And I say that as a resident of Toronto where the daily sobriety of our mayor is the more pressing issue. I won't even try to tackle how he got the top job in the first place, though we can drink on Election Day before the polls close in Ontario, for whatever that's worth.

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