Voting – John Marshall by John Edward Smith

I love voting. It is absolutely one of my favorite things to do. It makes me feel good. I just walked up to the Aspen Lodge and cast my vote. There was no line so I didn't even need to use the book I brought along to read if I had to wait in line.

I am reading John Marshall by Jean Edward Smith  and I am really enjoying it. I just read about the congressional election of 1799. Marshall was running against John Clopton in a very close race. I love Smith's description of the voting process

" Election day, April 24,1799, had a festive air about it. There were no written or printed ballots at that time in Virginia, and the voter merely announced his choice to the election judges seated behind a long table placed on the courthouse green. Suffrage was limited to male freeholders twenty-one or older, and it was customary for the candidates to sit alongside the judges, where they acted as scrutineers. When a voter announced his choice, the candidate for whom he voted rose, shook the voter's hand. and thanked him for his support. All of this took place before a partisan crowd that grew in size as the day wore on. Each party provided a barrel of whiskey, and voters often tested both barrels before making their choice. The liquor warmed the spirits of the crowd, who greeted each vote with the appropriate cheers and catcalls.The contest between Clopton and Marshall was tight, and throughout the day the lead shifted back and forth between the two men. Each party worked hard to get absent voters to the courthouse"

In the end Marshall won by 114 votes.