Last updated: July 18. 2013 1:38PM - 74 Views
Alan Scher Zagier
Associated Press

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Top election officials from Kentucky and West Virginia had a stern warning recently for politicians — they will be watching closely to make sure there’s no trading of votes for prescription pills.

Both states have long histories of office holders and seekers trading votes for drugs, gravel on driveways and back in the day, for liquor. Or even hard cash.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said the demand for pills is so great in Kentucky right now that the situation puts clean and fair elections at risk. But Grimes said protecting the election process is crucial. Trading votes for pills, gravel or money won’t be tolerated.

A number of politicians around the state have used this practice over the years to influence the outcomes of elections. We’re reminded of a story from a Kentucky newspaper in the 1930s. It seems a fellow traded his vote at election time for a bottle of liquor and a new pair of overalls.

Once the booze bottle was emptied, he went into town and bragged that he planned to vote for anyone he pleased and not necessarily for the politician who bought his vote.

Word got to the candidate who promptly dispatched two campaign workers to the man’s house. They found him inside sleeping it off. He was dragged out to the front lawn and beaten.

And before leaving, they even stripped him of his new overalls too. Ouch.

We hope state and federal officials can ensure the integrity of Kentucky’s election process and make sure it doesn’t take a beating on Nov. 6.

Distributed by The Associated Press

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