Tag Archive: Voting Machines

Nov 08 2012

My Little Town 20121107: Voting Then and Now

Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River.  It was a rural sort of place that did not particularly appreciate education, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.

This piece is divided into two parts:  the part that I wrote yesterday after getting back from voting and the part that I wrote this evening after what started as a nailbiting session for me watching the returns come in last night that ended in both relief and satisfaction.

I became eligible to vote in 1975, and my first opportunity to vote was in the primary in 1976 on 25 May.  Arkansas is an “open primary” state, meaning that you can vote in either the Democratic primary or the Republican primary as you wish, but not in both.  This is unlike Kentucky where you have to register as a Democrat (and can vote only in the Democratic primary), a Republican (and can vote only in the Republican primary), or as an Independent (and can vote in no primary).  I voted in the Democratic primary in 1976 because at the time the Republicans were very minor players in Arkansas.

I lived in the 3rd Congressional district, and no Democrat chose to run for the House of Representatives, so I did not vote for anyone for that.  It was also an off year for the Senate for Arkansas, so I did not vote for anyone for that, either.  Under the influence of my parents I made a mistake and voted for Orval Faubus in the primary!