No booze sold in Brundidge on Election Day – The Troy Messenger

On polling day, no alcoholic beverages may be sold in the town of Brundidge.

It’s the law.

According to the Code of Ordinances of the City of Brundidge, Alabama Sec. 3-38. On election day, no retailer shall sell, supply or give away malt or brewed beverages on the day of any federal, county or municipal election or on the date of any primary election held for the nomination of any federal, state, county, or municipal official until the time fixed by law for the closing of the polls.

(Order of 20-9-82).

The town officials of Brundidge at the time of this codification were: James T. Ramage III, Mayor; Robert E. Barr and John H. Senn, Commissioners; Richard F. Calhoun, city attorney; and Britt Thomas, City Clerk. These officials had not fallen off the turnip truck.

They knew that at the time, “brewed drinks” still played a huge role in the outcome of elections and that there was no reason to “prime the pump”, so to speak.

One of political columnist Steve Flowers’ favorite outlets tells of a hot Pike County race that was much closer than anyone ever thought.

The next day, the winning contestant remarked, “If I had known it was going to be so close, it wouldn’t have been so close.”

Pike County elders often recounted how a man would show up with a spoonful of moonshine to get a vote. Later, a vote was worth a pint and, if the race was looking to get really close, a vote was worth a litre. A man who sold his vote early could resell it before the polls close.

In a hotly contested race, voters were often driven around all day “watching the crops”. When they arrived at the polling station, they had been drinking votes all day and couldn’t even walk to make their mark on their ballots.

A man who sold votes could tell how reliable the voter would be by how straight he could walk. The more the man faltered, the more likely he had sold his vote more than once.

A story that circulated in Pike County a year ago was of a grandmother who perched outside a certain polling place on a straight chair with her skirt hanging around the low. Under the “covered chair” she kept a good supply of “tidy” bottles of bitters. At the end of voting day, she sat down, got up, took her chair, and headed home with her green-backed stuffed bustle.

Unless, Alabama Sec. 3-38 has been repealed, Brundidge will be the driest town in the south on May 24, 2022.

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