By Richard Franklin Bensel
Not like sleek elections, the yank polling position of the mid-nineteenth century used to be completely endowed with symbolic that means for those who differently should not have had the least curiosity in politics. This made the polls fascinating and inspired males to vote at a long way larger premiums than they do at the present time. males who approached a polling position have been met via brokers of the main political events. They taken care of the electorate with whiskey, gave them petty bribes, and prompt that they need to be unswerving to their ethnic and non secular groups. As pronounced within the eyewitness money owed of normal electorate, the polls have been ordinarily crowded, noisy, and sometimes, violent.
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Extra resources for American ballot box mid 19th century
Louis City and County, August 1859 Election 1. St. George’s Market-house 2. Coal scales, at the intersection of Gravois Road and Arsenal Street 3. Phoenix engine-house 4. J. Haupt’s house, corner of Park and Second Carondelet avenues 5. Convent Market-house 6. House opposite Snyder’s soap factory 7. Central House 8. Politz’s House 9. School-house at Bridgton 10. William Berry’s, in Manchester 11. City Hall, in the city of Carondelet 12. Mehl’s store 13. Drienhoefer’s 14. Washington engine-house 15.
Sheer ignorance, for example, did not bar a man from voting. 42 In all these instances, election judges were forced to rely on evidence immediately available at the polls. That evidence could usually be classiﬁed under three different headings. The ﬁrst was the claim made by the prospective voter himself, often backed by a sworn oath that the information he provided was true. The second was close inspection of the prospective voter’s physical appearance, attire, speech, and demeanor. The third was the joint recollection of the election judges, challengers, and bystanders as to the social characteristics, such as racial identity and age, of the prospective voter.
When they made it to the front of the line (sometimes there were lines, sometimes there were just crowds of people), voters would step onto the platform and face the voting window. When a voter presented himself, he was always asked his name. Most judges were chosen as representatives of the major parties; sometimes there were two, sometimes three, but they were almost always drawn from opposing parties. The judges were thus in a position to monitor both the qualiﬁcations of individual voters and each other’s ofﬁcial behavior.