Will voters ‘make Warren County wet’? November ballot asks.

Emma Austin

After checking boxes next to their preferred candidates’ names, Warren County voters will choose next Tuesday whether or not legalize the sale of alcoholic beverages across the county.

A 1960 election legalized alcohol sales in the city of Bowling Green, but the rest of the county remains dry after a 1957 vote made it so, according to Bowling Green Daily News archives.

As of August 2018, 48 counties in Kentucky were wet. A county may be moist if one or more cities within it has voted to become wet.


For the vote to appear on the ballot, a petition had to be signed by a number of Warren County voters equal to 25 percent of votes cast in the last general election. The campaign “Make Warren County Wet” got 14,000 signatures on the petition that at least 12,300 to get the vote on the ballot.  

Angie Mosley, owner of Highland Stables event venue located just outside of Bowling Green, started the petition to get the vote on the Warren County ballot with a few other venue owners after they found out they couldn’t bring in third party sellers to their venues.

“When we all opened our venues, we knew that we couldn’t sell alcohol, and none of us wanted to, to be quite honest,” Mosley said. “But if the bride and groom want to drink champagne at their wedding, I want them to be able to do that.”

Mosley said she went to a lot of mom and pop shops around the county outside Bowling Green city limits while campaigning to get signatures on the petition, and quite a few of them were struggling and believed being able to sell drinks could be a game changer.

“There’s just a need,” Mosley said. “I think the small businesses in the county should have the same rights as the big businesses [in the city].”

The results of the election become effective 60 days after the election is certified. If the measure passes, Warren County will need to start the ordinance process immediately after the election so local licenses and fees are in place before the county becomes wet.

Destin, Florida, junior Austin McPherson said he didn’t think staying dry would be a good idea for Warren County after what he’s heard from his dad, who lived in a dry county for a long time.

“Booze was still sold, there were a lot of people not being safe,” McPherson said. “Being able to tax and help the city, to know and control when people buy it, it’s better.”

Freshman Kenzie Crowe is registered to vote in Allen County but said if she were voting in Warren County, she would vote wet.

“I don’t think there’s any reason why it shouldn’t be wet,” Crowe said. “I think there’s opportunities for jobs, and people could get some liquor, which is nice. But that’s about it.”

Reporter Emma Austin can be reached at 270-745-0655 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @emmacaustin.