In March 2010, Danville residents voted to “go wet” and allow the sale of alcohol in city establishments. Earlier today, I was informed by Jordan Shewmaker, a second-year student here at Centre College and local political activist, that there were some grumblings by city residents that the Centre community was responsible for the outcome of that vote. Was that indeed the case?
The vote was 2,365 in favor of going wet (56%) versus 1,856 in favor of staying dry (44%). The Centre College precinct (which includes some of the western part of the downtown and south-western residential neighborhoods in Danville off of Hustonville Rd.) was indeed the strongest “pro-wet” precinct in the Danville, with 188 votes in favor (nearly 76%) and 60 votes against.
If all 188 “pro-wet” voters in the Centre College precinct had switched sides and voted to stay dry, however, it would have changed the final city-wide vote to 2,177 for and 2,044 against. In other words, the wet vote would still have won with 51.6% of the vote.
The bottom line: the Centre College community certainly helped the wet vote pass, but was not exclusively responsible for the final outcome.