google-site-verification=r237XqhQ7UPSytidcuZuxoRMkExLsu2kXcsOFMMzkJc Q&A | Frequently Asked Question | The Ohio Ballot Option

Question & Answer

What is a Liquor Option?

Local Liquor Options are placing a question on the ballot that changes the Ohio constitution to allow sales of a particular type of alcohol at specific location at a specific time.  The change is typically from "Dry" to "Wet" although the opposite effect can also be achieved through this process. 

The "status" of a location dates back to the prohibition era and the repeal of the 18th amendment by the 21st, unless it has been specifically altered by the voters in the precinct at some point since then.  Redistricting envelopment of a location to a "Wet" precinct unfortunately does not change that locations status.

Is it worth the expense and time?

Increasing the variety of beverages offered and the days and hours they are available is always a good idea. 


Customers appreciate a full service location that is unrestricted compared to the competition as far as times or days of the week.  The costs of increasing sales through a local option easily pays for itself within the first year and your permit will be with you for life


Beyond that, liquor permits have value on their own.  Typically three to ten times the fees to maintain it for a year.  They are in great demand in counties with larger populations as the quotas are full and the applications outnumber the permits available by the hundreds.  They can be sold and transferred to business who are unable to secure permits due to these limits.

What's the process?

The application, petition, and various forms associated with the process all need to be error free, match what the Division of Liquor Control has for you and be legally correct.  If any of these things are off it can spell disaster.  The idea is to make the whole process as painless as possible for the client.  Once hired The Ohio Ballot Option will:

  • Fill out the application for the desired permit correctly and oversee it's progress throughout the entire process.


  • Provide all of the other necessary disclosure forms that need to accompany the application.


  • Request the materials needed from the Board of Elections to ensure the precinct boundaries are correct and the voters are current in that area.


  • Use the correct petition question and language for the local option that pertains to permit desired.


  • Make sure the petition language matches exactly, to either the application or additional permit(s) requested, so that Liquor Control can correctly place it in the correct tax district.


  • Persuasively campaign toward a "Yes" vote in the field while gathering valid voters signatures.  We never allow someone to sign that is not on the list and we exceed the requirement for placement by at least 20%.


  • Register voters who are supportive of your campaign and update registrations with any changes to ensure they will not have to vote provisionally on your issue.


  •  Complete and file all paperwork and pay the necessary to submit your local option to the Board of Elections by the deadline.


  • Recommend further actions such as a targeted letter campaign or get out the vote effort if voter enthusiasm is low or there are large tee-totaling groups in the precinct.


  • Provide a sample ballot to you when it is released so you know your issue number and can start telling your customers and neighbors to please vote "Yes."


  • Check with the Division of Liquor Control for any additional problems that may slow the issuance of your permit such as site inspections, tax issues, slow background check or plain old human oversight or error.


  • Contact you immediately the night of the election once all the precincts report to tell you the results.


  • Finally, follow the permit after the election to make sure it is issued to you in a timely manner.

How much time does it take?

No one ever said the process is quick.  The time to complete the various processes are as follows:

  • Processing a new application for a liquor permit takes 10-12 weeks through the Division of Liquor Control


  • Requesting precinct material such as maps and a voter walklist takes 15 days with the county's Board of Elections


  • Collecting signatures in the precinct usually takes between a few weeks to a few months in the field depending on number required and the work load of the agency hired


  • Submitted local option petitions need to be in 90 days before the election so the signatures can be verified, the legal language can be approved by the Secretary of State and the ballot can be constructed for the election


  • Election results usually take about 2 weeks to tabulate and become official unless there is a recount


  • Official results are then sent back to the Division of Liquor Control and the permit is issued in 1 to 3 months before the business can order product from distributors 

How much does it cost?

The cost to secure a ballot question varies on the number of signatures required, the size of the precinct and the number of miles and hours it will take to complete.  The Ohio Ballot Option does not charge based on projected increase in sales or how much a client is likely to be able to afford. 


We may recommend additional non-intrusive campaigning such as a single letter asking for a "Yes" vote and a get out the vote effort to rally supporters on election day based on the feedback from the community. 


Once you have secured the privilege it is yours forever as long as the annual fees to maintain it are paid to the Division of Liquor Control.

How is The Ohio Ballot Option different?

There are very few groups that provide liquor option services in Ohio.  Most have broken off from a firm which is no longer in operation and most use the same tactics were used by that firm since the early 90's.

The Ohio Ballot option was started to provide a better, more successful and cheaper alternative to the outdated clones that exist.

  • We do not up-sell with phone surveys to test the voters enthusiasm for the issue(s) to be submitted for approval.  These efforts typically annoy the community and are wildly inaccurate.  This is why voter opinion surveys have been so far off in recent elections if you've noticed.  The telephone numbers available through the Board of Elections are usually landlines so the survey skews older and the same group of voters are constantly contacted with opinion polls every election.  Not at all a real representation of the community or their views.


  • We do not use independent contractors to collect signatures or make phone calls.  Most firms hire from Craigslist or the like and do not train the people representing your company in the field at the voters homes.  As a rule they cannot train these people and still maintain "independent" status.  This is cheaper for them as they don't have to pay the costs associated with hiring actual employees.  It shows in the field in rates of refusal and their ability to communicate the issue.  It's difficult enough to disturb people at home, verify their identity and ask for a signature all while asking for support.  You want a professional approaching your neighbors and customers.


  • Our prices are the lowest.  Because we don't have management staff, office space, rental cars and spend a fortune repeatedly mailing potential customers who may not want to expand their services.  Small is efficient.  We do 20% of the projects of the largest firm with 1/15th the staff.  Why pay for bloat?


  • Campaigns are recommended on a need only base.  You cannot tell how the community will cast their votes until you talk to them.  Typically these issues pass as they are truly bi-partisan.  Everyone likes the convenience of being able to grab a bottle for Sunday dinner or grab a case for the football game.  If there is some risk due to a businesses poor reputation or if there is a large non-drinking congregation nearby we can cater a non-intrusive campaign to secure a win without upsetting non-supporters and rallying them against your business.  Most firms use fear of failure to up-sell expensive campaigns after the fact when they should have done a better job with the voters face to face.


  • We understand that most people use the internet to find a good place to get a drink.  Many business need all of the exposure they can get and may not be as technically savvy or have as much time as they wish.  We provide a blog write up and review with Google, can correct map location errors, and provide additional pictures of the business.  As of now we are the only ones providing this service which is included in all campaigns.  50,000+ views in 4 months is our record so far and it is still growing.

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