HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – An unintended consequence of Saturday’s special election was lost revenue for businesses all across West Virginia.
A long-standing part of the West Virginia state code prohibits the sale of liquor in West Virginia on election days.
The rule has been around as long as the state itself.
Back in the 19th century, politicians were suspected of buying votes with booze.
Elections typically fall on Tuesdays which aren’t as busy for liquor sales, but with this special election falling on a Saturday, some stores say they're losing big business because of the old rule.
Don Harless, the manager of Corner Liquor & Wine in Huntington, says it's a real nuisance to have to be closed on a Saturday, which is their busiest day of the week.
"We normally do three to five thousand dollars in sales on Saturdays,” he said. “That's a big impact.”
He says the law is obsolete and should be changed.
“That's so outdated at this point,” he said. “It doesn't make any sense at all."
It was the first weekend back in town for Marshall students, who didn’t seem too discouraged by Saturday’s liquor prohibition.
"When I first heard about it I thought you couldn't buy beer and you couldn't buy liquor,” Junior Dennis Poillon said, “but from what I hear now, it's only liquor, so that works for us because we only serve beer at our party."
West Virginia is one of five states that prohibit the sale of liquor on election days.
The 2009 legislature looked at lifting the ban, but the bill died in the senate when an amendment was added allowing for Sunday liquor sales.
Liquor could be sold in restaurants and bars Saturday.