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Local Options

Local Options

Local Liquor Option Elections - In General

Local liquor option elections allow registered voters to vote on the question of whether, and to what extent, alcohol sales and consumption will be allowed within a particular area, usually a precinct. Local liquor option elections can specify certain types of alcohol that may be made available within that precinct and whether the alcohol may be consumed on-premises only, off premises only, or both on- and off-premises (R.C. 4301.32).

Petitioner’s Responsibilities

This publication is general in nature and is not intended to be the exclusive source of information about local liquor options. The petitioner must determine which local liquor option question(s) to submit to the voters. Additionally, the petitioner is responsible for complying with all applicable constitutional and statutory provisions governing local liquor option elections. Because neither a county board of elections nor the Secretary of State’s office can give the petitioner legal advice, the petitioner is encouraged to seek private legal counsel.

Definitions (R.C. 4301.01)

Ohio liquor control law divides alcoholic beverages into various classes according to their alcohol content. A local liquor option election will affect only the sale of those classes of beverages that are specifically designated on the petition and in the ballot language.


refers to all beverages brewed or fermented wholly or in part from malt products and containing ½ of 1 percent or more, but not more than 12 percent, of alcohol by volume.


“Intoxicating Liquor” and “Liquor”

refer to a broad classification including all liquids and compounds, other than beer, containing at least ½ of 1 percent of alcohol by volume. This includes cider and alcohol, and all solids and confections which contain ½ of 1 percent of alcohol by volume.


“Mixed Beverages”

refers to premixed, bottled products and solids and confections obtained by combining whiskey, neutral spirits, brandy, gin or other distilled spirits with water, pure 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 Liquor”

refers to all intoxicating liquors containing more than 21 percent of alcohol by volume.

Refers to all liquids made from the fermented juices of grapes, fruits or other agricultural products and containing not less than 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.

Additional Information

You may find more information on local options on-line by visiting the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control website.

If you have any questions regarding any of the information contained on this page call Candidate & Voter Services Department of the Board of Elections at 216-443-3298