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Understanding the Current Liquor Status of a Precinct
…now comes the difficult part!

Attempting to determine the current liquor status of a precinct or a particular location within a precinct can sometimes be mind-boggling or very simple. Normally, it takes a little research and comparison of election dates, election results and precinct lines. The most important thing to remember in your research is that local option results (votes) affect geographic areas. That is, the ground within pre-defined precinct boundaries at the time of the local option election. These boundaries include the ground a particular business location sits upon or may sit upon.  The most recent local option election held which included that geographic area, be it the entire precinct, a portion of that precinct, a single location within that precinct, or even a blade of grass within that precinct - determines the current liquor status.

Typically, a precinct’s boundaries will have changed since a prior local liquor option election was held. In that case, the results of a prior local option election applies to all of the territory that constituted the precinct at the time the election was held, even if that territory is no longer a part of the original precinct.  This is especially true in large urban areas that experience constant precinct realignment.  Remember: The results of a local liquor option election are tied to the ground where the election was held regardless of the current precinct boundaries.  

It’s a safe bet the boundaries of a particular Precinct A today are much different than they were in 1981 and so on.  Be sure to track the precinct boundary changes in the current precinct location beginning in 1933 to the present. Once you have established the precinct history of a location, simply refer to the results of the elections (the YES or NO votes) held that affect those precincts at the time the elections were held.

The following example shows how precinct line changes affect the current liquor status of a precinct or particular business address within a precinct. In this simple example, certain local option elections were decided in separate precincts that were later realigned by the county board of elections. While the precinct boundaries have changed by moving some area of one precinct into a different precinct, the liquor status of the ground involved in the prior local option elections does not. Again, the results of any local option election are tied to the ground where the election was held regardless of the current precinct boundaries.



current liquor option 1

Precinct boundaries as of 1999 (left) & redrawn boundaries as of 2007 (right)
The redrawn boundaries places Building “A” within Precinct B


  • In May of 1999, voters in Precinct ‘A’ reject the on-premise sale of beer (Form 5-A, Question B) wine and mixed beverages (Form 5-C, Question B), and spirituous liquors by the glass (Form 5-C, Question C) by voting NO on all these “precinct-wide” on-premise local option questions.
  • Precinct A is dry for on-premise sales.
  • Two months later in July of 1999, Building A was constructed in Precinct ‘A’.
  • Two years later in 2001, voters in Precinct ‘B’ (located next to Precinct ‘A’) approve the on-premise sale of beer (Form 5-A, Question B), wine and mixed beverages (Form 5-C, Question B),  and spirituous liquor by the glass (Form 5-C, Question C) by voting YES on all questions.
  • Precinct B is wet for on-premise sales.
  • In 2005, the board of elections redrew the precinct boundaries because they had simply grown too large over the years.
  • Building A is now located in the WET Precinct B as a result of the change in precinct boundaries.

Fact #1:       In 2006, one year after the board of elections re-drew precinct boundaries and five years AFTER the local option vote in Precinct B, Mike Ambrose purchases Building A with plans to open a full-service Italian restaurant that serves beer, wine and mixed beverages, and spirituous liquor.

Fact #2:       The territory (or ground) where Building A is located REMAINS “dry” because it WAS NOT part of Precinct B at the time voters in Precinct B approved the sale of beer, wine and mixed beverages and spirituous liquor in 2001.

Fact #3:       The *current liquor status of Building A is governed by the most recent local option election that it was involved in; namely the 1999 local liquor option election held in Precinct A.

Fact #4:       Voter approval of another local liquor option election in Precinct B is necessary to make the Ambrose property ‘wet’ before permits may be issued by the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.

Current Liquor Status Quote Box


DISCLAIMER: is developed and maintained by, llc., a wholly owned subsidiary of field resource management, inc., the industry leader in the design, development, and implementation of Ohio Liquor Option election campaigns. field resource management, inc. is not affiliated with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office or any Ohio County Board of Elections. All information contained herein is strictly the opinion of field resource management, inc. and is neither intended to be nor considered to be legal advice to any Ohio local option petitioners.