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Wet-Dry Election Draws Voters In Town Where Crash Killed 27

October 4, 1988

CARROLLTON, Ky. (AP) _ Residents voted today in a wet-dry referendum spurred by the fatal church bus crash last spring.

Police say the driver of a pickup truck involved in the crash was drunk when the accident occurred, killing 27 people - 24 of them children.

Voter turnout ″will probably be bigger for this than it will be for the presidential election,″ said Debbie Roeder, a member of a pro-dry group.

When she arrived at the polls at 7:30 a.m., she said, about five people were waiting in line to vote.

″I was number 57, I believe, and that was an hour and a half after it opened,″ she said, adding that friends and relatives told her their polling places had been busy, too.

Both the wet and dry forces said a high voter turnout would help their cause; both sides offered rides to the polls.

Chuck Webster, a leader of the ″wets,″ said interest is high because Carrollton has been in the news since the May 14 bus-pickup truck crash on Interstate 71.

Both sides agreed that the crash led to today’s referendum.

The Carroll County clerk’s office said it has registered 520 new voters. A total of 6,039 were eligible to vote, the highest number in a decade.

The dry forces estimated that they spent less than $1,000 on newspaper advertising. The wet forces have spent about $6,000 on advertising in newspaper and radio.

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