South Carolina Makes It Legal To Drink On Election Day


You’ll be able to drink on Election Day in South Carolina thanks to a new law:

Voters in South Carolina will soon be able to hit the bars after they hit the voting booths.

South Carolina state senate members voted 41-1 to repeal a 1882 law that bans restaurants, stores and bars throughout the state from selling alcohol on election days.

“Election Day is about sorrow or joy. You should be able to buy a drink,” state Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) said to USA TODAY. Sellers helped sponsor the bill and has been working on overturning the legislation for eight years.

I like the way that guy thinks.

Unfortunately, the law won’t go into effect in time for the state’s primary on June 10th.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    My dad used to tell me that the first job he had was handing out pints of bourbon to voters on election day. Those were the days.

  2. James Joyner says:

    @Dave Schuler: Sometimes, things really do get worse.

  3. rudderpedals says:

    South Carolina Makes It Legal To Drink On Election Day

    Like anyone’s going to notice a difference

  4. DrDaveT says:

    Yeah, but when is it going to be legal to do LSD on Election Day? In some states, it might be an improvement.

  5. ernieyeball says:

    Until sometime in the 70’s the bars here in Sleepytown had to wait for the polls to close before they could open and serve spirits on election day. Not sure if it was local ordiance or Prairie State law.
    Since 1980 at least 10 State of Illinois elected officials have been convicted of some violation or another.
    Of course there is no evidence here of cause and effect. Just an observation of events.

  6. Ron Beasley says:

    When I was growing up here in Oregon my father owned a grocery store. I worked in that store and still remember having to tell customers they couldn’t buy wine or beer on election day. Oregon did away with this years ago.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    It’s South Carolina, it should be mandatory

  8. Andre Kenji says:

    Here in Brazil selling alchool is banned during the Election day.

  9. RGardner says:

    South Carolina used to require bars to serve hard alcohol only from mini-bottles, so forget getting a Long Island Iced Tea there.

    Years ago I was in CT on July 4. All alcohol sales were banned on holidays, so couldn’t even buy beer.

  10. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Those of us who live in Petigru’s Asylum have long used Election Day as a reason to drink – at home, of course.