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voting -- not political, just history

voting -- not political, just history
November 03, 2020 11:40AM
First, I hope everyone has voted, or will manage to do so today, regardless of your choices -- but especially if they are the same as minesmileys with beer!

What do folks remember about voting in the past -- not how you voted or what you thought of candidates, but just the process? When I first voted it was in a party primary. We had punch cards in Dallas -- the infamous butterfly ballots. After voting, we could participate in a party caucus, and I did. Not many people stayed for that, but it was the only way to have a voice in the party nomination for president.

Later that year came the general election. Bonnie and I had moved from Dallas to Arlington. When we went to the County Clerk's office to change our registration to Tarrant County, the person working the desk saw our party affiliation stamped on our registration cards at the primary, and suggested that we just remain registered in Dallas, where there were more candidates in our party. We were very young and naive, not realizing that he had just committed a crime, and that so would we if we followed his instructions, and we did what he suggested. Thankfully for us, there was never anything more said about it and we voted in Dallas that fall.

Bonnie and I voted late, after work. The polling station in a school in Highland Park was very crowded, and again we had the butterfly ballots. There were about 20 or more of those constitutional amendments for which Texas is famous. We finally finished around 8 p.m. The election was not even close for president that year.

I have read somewhere that in the early Dallas days, even into the 20th century, people would gather in the streets outside the newspaper building, and returns would periodically be announced by megaphone, and later by loudspeakers, as well as being posted by hand on giant billboards. The article (can't find it now, darn it) also said that fights were not unusual in the streets as the returns came in.

added in edit: I erred when I said the presidential election that year was not close. It was extremely close (Nixon vs. Humphrey) and we did not know until sometime the next day who our next POTUS would be.

Dave McNeely



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/2020 03:51PM by old man from dallas.
Re: voting -- not political, just history
November 11, 2020 11:14AM
I remember going with my mother to vote in what must have been 1952. We dressed up, like Sunday School, walked up the flight of steps to Cochran Chapel Methodist Church, waited quietly in line for our turn in the booth. It was an almost solemn exercise in civic duty and a lesson I've never forgotten.

Victoria Snyder Alvey
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