Skip to content

Old Time Elections — By Tommy Purser

Going to the courthouse Tuesday to see the final vote tallies come in brought back fond memories of years ago when vote-counting was an experience, a showcase.

Years ago, the courthouse would be packed with people, hundreds of people, waiting, watching and listening as poll workers laboriously went over absentee ballots with the counting lasting well past midnight into the early morning hours. A few times when I left the courthouse the sun would be rising in the east.

In the audience would be interested spectators, many of whom had a notepad and pen or pencil as they tallied up every vote announced by the late Rudolph Kelly, who ruled the roost and, with his booming voice, announced each vote.

A half dozen or so poll tabulators would independently tally his announcements and if at any time their counts did not coincide, everything would stop until the mistake was corrected. When the last vote was counted, everyone was satisfied it was done accurately.

Today, with hacking-vulnerable voting machines and no paper trail to check the results, noone really knows if the count is accurate.

Oh, how I wish for the good old days.

Leave a Comment