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Ohio State Alcohol Prohibition, Referendum 2 (1919)

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The Ohio State Alcohol Prohibition Referendum, also known as Referendum 2, was on the November 4, 1919 ballot ballot in Ohio as a veto referendum, where it was defeated. The measure repealed the Crabbe Act, which provided for state prohibition of alcohol and its enforcement.[1][2]

The measure was one of four questions relating to alcohol prohibition on the 1919 Ohio ballot.


After the defeat of the Crabbe Act, a new Crabbe Act was passed by the Ohio General Assembly. The new Act was put to referendum in 1920, where it was approved by the people. In 1927, that act was overruled in Tumey v. Ohio.[3]

Election results

Ohio Referendum 2 (1919)
Defeatedd No500,81251.37%
Yes 474,078 48.63%

Election results via: Ohio Secretary of State

Text of measure

Vote Dry
Vote Dry (Political ad in the Urbana Daily Democrat, November 3, 1919)

The language that appeared on the ballot:[4]

(By Referendum Petition)

To provide for the state prohibition of liquor traffic, for the enforcement of such prohibition and the repeal of all sections of the General Code inconsistent therewith.

The act defines intoxicating liquor to include any distilled, malt, spirituous, vinous, fermented or alcoholic liquor and any alcoholic liquid or compound capable of being used as a beverage; except for pharmaceutical, medicinal, sacramental, industrial, and certain other specified purposes, makes it unlawful to manufacture, sell, barter, receive, possess, transport, export, deliver, furnish or give away intoxicating liquor or possess any equipment used or to be used for the manufacture of intoxicating liquor, but the word “possess” as used in this act in reference to intoxicating liquors does not apply to such liquors in a bona fide private residence as described in Section 50 of this act; provides for a system of permits to be issued by a prohibition commissioner for the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor where authorized; authorizes the commissioner to issue additional rules and regulations relating to the manufacture, possession and sale not inconsistent with the act; provides for removal of liquors from possession except those specifically permitted; makes it unlawful to advertise or solicit orders for liquors, or to advertise, sell, deliver, furnish or possess any preparation or recipe for making intoxicating liquors except for permitted purposes; enacts regulation as to liquor shipments by common carrier; except for permitted purposes, makes it unlawful for anyone to have liquor on his person or in a vehicle, or to sell or dispose of the same by gift or otherwise; makes it unlawful to keep or use any building where any offense prohibited by the act is committed, and provides for the abatement of such place as a nuisance; provides for civil damages for injury caused by intoxication; provides for search of buildings and places, but no warrant shall be issued to search a private dwelling occupied as such unless some part of it is used as a store or shop, hotel, or boarding house, or for any other purpose that a private residence or unless such residence is a place of public resort for drinking liquors, or intoxicating liquors is manufactured sold or furnished therein in violation of the law; provides for seizure of certain chattels when used or believed to be used unlawfully under this act; provides for trial of offenders, for penalties for violation of each and every provision of the act and for the disposition of the fines; prescribes the duties of certain officers; relieves officers of the law from civil or criminal liability for acts done in good faith with or without process of law in enforcing or attempting to enforce the provisions of this act; enlarges the writ of quo warranto giving certain officers including private persons the right to bring action for removal of officers of the law in certain cases; provides for the further prosecution of certain pending actions; repeals the license laws, sections of the local option and regulatory laws and certain other existing statutes.[5]

Path to the ballot

The 18th Amendment of the United States Constitution, enacting federal prohibition on alcohol, was ratified in 1919. Upon ratification, the Ohio General Assembly passed the Crabbe Act, also known as H.B. 20, to provide for strict enforcement of the amendment in Ohio. The Act was then put on the ballot via referendum petition.[1][3]

See also

Suggest a link

External links


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