Election Results: Liquor Initiatives 1100 and 1105

November 8, 2010

Voters here in Washington got to vote on allowing liquor to be sold in regular private stores last week with I-1100, and a similar initiative that would have kept the middle man distribution system in tact with I-1105. I wrote that I was for I-1100, but would rather have the system remain as is than have I-1105 pass. Well, the results are in, and both failed.

Interestingly, those numbers actually kind of support my views that if liquor was going to be allowed to be sold in grocery stores, then the mandatory distribution system also needs to be done away with.

Interestingly, before the election, Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times wrote about the future of liquor stores if the initiatives failed. He contends that Washington State was doing it wrong. There are states such as Virginia with government controlled liquor stores who were looking to privatize the stores, meaning they were selling the business. Washington State initiatives  would have just closed the liquor stores, and there would be no profit for the state. When I think about it, a private business just doesn’t shut down so another one can open. If they can, they buy and sell each other out.

I do not think this is the last we are going to hear of privatizing liquor sales in Washington State. It might be a couple of years, but I believe it will crop back up on the ballot again.


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