Alcohol amendment voting could wetten 'dry' part of Gillespie

OLD JUSTICE PRECINCT 6 — visible within the black-and-yellow checkered boundary — will be affected by the outcome of a local option election that is being held in conjunction with the 2013 Constitutional Amendment Election. Certain, but not all, Gillespie County voters from Precincts 5 and 15 who currently reside within the old Justice Precinct 6 will be asked to cast ballots deciding whether or not to legalize the sale of alcohol beverages with 3.2% and higher alcohol content (as is legal in the rest of the county.) The decision could repeal a state of dryness that has been in place for nearly the past eight decades. — Map courtesy Gillespie Central Appraisal District/Chief Appraiser David Oehler

By Lisa Treiber-Walter —


A portion of Gillespie County that has been mostly “dry” for 78 years may change, depending on how a small set of voters cast their ballots in the 2013 Constitutional Amendment Election.

While voters will be asked to decide on nine constitutional amendments, a small portion of this county’s residents will also be eligible to cast ballots “for” or “against” a local option election that would effectively repeal prohibition.

Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 21, and continues through Friday, Nov. 1, while the general election date this year is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The area of Gillespie County at the heart of the alcohol issue is that surrounding Harper, Tierra Linda and Klein Branch, and a small portion near Willow City, where hard liquor sales have been against the law since before the national prohibition era.

Sales of alcohol in the portions of the county known as “old Justice Precinct 6” are limited to beer and wine coolers — and even then only so long as they contain less than 3.2 percent alcohol.



The law in effect goes back to Aug. 24, 1935, when the rest of the state repealed prohibition. Voters in Gillespie County were called to determine whether or not liquors (as were allowed by state law and the constitution) were also to be allowable in the local district.

Gillespie voters cast 2,100 ballots in that effort to help Texas repeal the 16-year prohibition law.

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