No alcoholic beverages sold in Brundidge election day

Published 7:44 pm Friday, May 20, 2022

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On voting day, no alcohol beverages can be sold in the City of Brundidge.

That’s the law.

According to The Code of Ordinances City of Brundidge, Alabama Sec. 3-38. On election day, it shall be unlawful for any retailer to sell, furnish or give away malt or brewed beverages on the day of any federal state, county or municipal election or on the date of any primary election held for the nomination of any federal, state, county or municipal officer until after the time fixed by law for the closing of the polling places.

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(Ord. of 9-20-82).

The officials of the City 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. Those officials hadn’t fallen off the turnip truck.

They knew that back then, “brewed beverages” still played a huge role in the outcome of the election and there was no reason to, “prime the pump,” so to speak.

One of political columnist Steve Flowers’ favorite stores is about a heated Pike County race that was much closer than would have ever been thought.

The next day, the winning candidate remarked: “If I had knowed it was gonna be that close, it wouldn’t a-been that close.”

Old timers around Pike County often told how a man would come around with a spoonful of moonshine to get a vote. Later, a vote was worth a pint and, if the race was looking to be really close, a vote was deemed worth a quart. A man who sold his vote early might sell it again before the polls closed.

In a highly-contested race, voters were often ridden around all day “looking at the crops.” When they got to the polling place, they had been drinking up votes all day and couldn’t even walk to make their mark on their ballots.

A man who was selling votes could tell how reliable the voter would be by how straight he could walk. The more the man staggered, the more likely he had sold his vote more than a few times.

One story that circulated in Pike County in year’s past was of a granny who perched outside a certain polling place on a straight chair with her skirt hanging down around the bottom. Under the “covered chair,” she kept a good supply of bitters bottles “stowed” away. At the close of voting day, she sat got up, picked up her chair and walked on home with her bustle stuffed with green backs.

Unless, Alabama Sec. 3-38 has been repealed, Brundidge will be the driest city in the south come May 24, 2022.