Local Option Elections – In General
Local option elections allow registered voters to vote on the question of whether alcohol sales and consumption shall be allowed within a precinct. Local option elections can specify certain types of alcohol that may be made available within that precinct and whether the alcohol may be consumed off-premises only or both on- and off-premises. [R.C. 4301.32]
Definitions of Types of Alcohol
Ohio liquor control law divides alcoholic beverages into various classes according to their alcohol content. A local option election will affect only the sale of those classes of beverages that are specifically designated on the petition and in the ballot language. The Ohio Revised Code [R.C. 4301.01] define these classes of alcoholic beverages as:
- "Beer" - Refers to all brewed or fermented malt products containing at least ½ of 1 percent of alcohol by volume, but not more than 6 percent of alcohol by weight.
- "Intoxicating Liquor" - Refers to a broad classification including all liquids and compounds, other than beer, containing at least ½ of 1 percent of alcohol by volume.
- "Mixed Beverages" - Refers to premixed, bottled products obtained by combining whiskey, neutral spirits, brandy, gin, or other distilled spirits with water, plant juices or other flavorings. The completed product must contain not less than ½ of 1 percent and not more than 21 percent of alcohol by volume.
- "Spirituous Liquors" - Refers to all intoxicating liquors containing more than 21 percent of alcohol by volume.
- "Wine" - Refers to all liquids made from the fermented juices of grapes, fruits or other agricultural products and containing not less than ½ of 1 percent and not more than 21 percent of alcohol by volume.
The Petition Process
The requirements to circulate a local option petition vary depending upon the type of alcohol sale and consumption the petitioner wishes to place on the ballot. The Petitioner must decide on the type(s) of alcohol sale(s) he or she wishes to place on the ballot and the area that will be affected by the election. The petitioner must then follow the process required for the particular petition.
You may find more information on local options on-line by visiting the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control
If you have any questions regarding any of the information contained on this page, e-mail
or call 419-739-6720.