Showing posts with label Elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elections. Show all posts

Jul 29, 2019

Elections Interference

Trying to influence elections goes back a long way in the US. During 1757 George Washington stood for election to the House of Burgesses representing Frederick County, Virginia. He won only 40 votes out of more than 580 cast by the male landowners of the jurisdiction, an embarrassing defeat.

According to his close aide and political adviser at the time, his defeat was caused in part, by his failure to provide suitable liquid refreshment to voters, an oversight which his opponents took advantage of. Washington, who had publicly avowed that he would never stoop to such underhanded tactics, reconsidered his position during the election of 1758. He directed his friend and adviser, Colonel James Wood of the Virginia Colonial militia, to ensure potential supporters were better treated.
Washington purchased rum, whiskey, wine, beer, and hard cider, according to his own account books, spending the equivalent of about $9,000. His supply included nearly 50 gallons of beer, a like amount of wine, three full barrels of rum (over 100 gallons) and a half-pint of brandy, presumably for his own consumption.
In winning he received nearly 400 votes, though the exact count varies depending on the source, and his alcohol supply ensured there was at least a half-gallon of libations for each Washington supporter available at the polling site.

He never again lost an election, though he never again needed to ply his supporters with liquids to achieve success. It should be noted that juicing the voters was a common practice during the 18th century, and one reason why sales of alcohol were for many years in America proscribed while the polls were open.

Jul 6, 2018

Election Day Factoid

France, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, and more hold their national elections on Sunday.