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Mark’s Musings – November 6, 2019

| November 5, 2019

Mark Fortune

Congratulations to the Ridgewood Generals football team on an undefeated season! That is a great achievement and certainly something to be proud of as the 2019 team adds their legacy to the storied seasons and teams of the past. Hosting a playoff game is even more special as Portsmouth makes the trip up from the Ohio River and visits West Lafayette this Saturday evening, Nov. 9. Good luck Generals!

Did your exercise your opportunity to vote on Tuesday – or as evidenced by the flow of traffic into the Board of Elections on Sunday, did you vote early? How about those newfangled voting machines huh? I think they are an improvement over the old system and I would presume that they will make counting the votes a much faster and smoother process – even in the case of a recount.

In the college football rankings the Buckeyes remained at number three while Penn State moved to number five and Georgia rebounded with a big win into the number six spot despite one loss.

The question for this week is – how far will either Alabama or LSU drop with a loss? This is the premier matchup in the 2019 season so far – with the Buckeyes versus Penn State – followed by Michigan – looming as marquee matchups. The Buckeyes cannot look past the Nittany Lions – that would be an error. You can bet that the coaching staff will do all it can to make sure these young men are focused on one opponent at a time.

We could talk about the Browns – or we could not. Let’s keep it short. The Browns can still do some damage in the division and still make the playoffs. The Browns are so close to putting it all together. There, I said it. And yesterday should have been a win. I am sure that Steelers fans are gloating as their replacement quarterback – and the defense – is keeping Pittsburgh playoff hopes alive.

I did some research on Election Day trivia and found this little tidbit on the site www.constitutioncenter.org. In 1758, a young candidate in Virginia for the House of Burgesses footed a huge liquor bill to woo voters on Election Day. George Washington spent his entire campaign budget, 50 pounds, on 160 gallons of liquor served to 391 voters. Buying votes with booze was already a custom in England. Washington also was following a Virginia tradition where barrels of liquor were rolled to courthouse lawns and polling places on Election Day. The question is – do you think this would still work today? I could see a hotly contested race being won; perhaps by the candidate that supplied the best liquor . . . I will leave it up to you.

And because of our agrarian past elections were held in the fall so that farmers could travel after the Sabbath, vote and then make it back home for what was then called Market Wednesday. Again, the source is the above mentioned website.

Let’s look at one more from the same web source – The mechanical lever voting machine was patented in 1889 but it took decades for the machines to become commonplace. Jacob H. Myers built the first lever machine used in an election, back in 1892. Myers said the devices were needed to prevent “rascaldom.” (Further research found that it took a bit to work the hanging chads – err – the bugs out – Mark.)

Category: Mark's Musings, Opinion

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