Cleveland’s leaders may screw up practically every thing they put their minds to, but at least we’re not as inept as Potter, New York, where, as a result of some sloppy wording on a ballot, voters accidentally made their town dry.
According to a story in the New York Times
, it all started when a local restaurant wanted to add wine and beer to its menu. According to state law, voters had to approve the request. It seemed like a simple enough task. After all, there’s not much else to do in the farming town of only 1,800 people but slam Natty Ice and shoot stuff. Having a glass of white zin with your meatloaf surely wouldn’t make too many waves.
Unfortunately, while the people of Potter are a light-hearted, jovial bunch, they aren’t much for long words. The ballot language was so confusing – “Shall any person be authorized to sell alcoholic beverages at retail, not to be consumed on the premises, where sold in the town of Potter?” – that most people voted no.
In the process, they not only turned down the restaurant’s request to serve booze, but also banned anybody else in town from doing it. That meant that the town’s only beer store was effectively shut down. Now, if voters can’t correct the mistake, they’ll have to drive 10 miles -- or find the nearest paper bag and bottle of cleaning solvent -- to get a buzz. One resident quoted by the Times’ summed it up best: “It’d be a bummer.” -- Jared Klaus