UPDATE: Wet/dry issue more clearly unclear

Carolyn Beck
Carolyn Beck

In the July 30 Dallas Voice, I wrote about the confusion over whether the law allows a citywide election to override previous elections. Carolyn Beck of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission sent over state regulations indicating that if a Justice of the Peace district holds a wet/dry election, that election supersedes any city election. Only another JP district election can override the previous election.

In the article, I mentioned two previous wet/dry elections affecting Oak Cliff, but upon further research I found two others.

In the 1890s, the city of Oak Cliff went dry. In 1960, JP District 7, which includes Oak Cliff, voted to remain dry. But two other elections occurred in the interim.

In 1944, 11 years after the repeal of Prohibition, Dallas County held a countywide election to make the entire county wet. In 1956, another election turned Oak Cliff — and all areas south of the Trinity River — dry. That’s more than JP District 7.

But the 1960 election was a JP district election and to overturn that election, a new JP district election would have to be held. The law clearly states that only a JP district election can overturn a JP district election on wet/dry issues.

—  David Taffet