1933 – Only One Day for Voters to Register for Vote to Repeal Prohibition
September 12, 1888
“Ed[itor] Democrat,” began a front-page item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, “[h]aving read your much esteemed paper for some time and seeing nothing from Elk Township, I desire to ask for a few spare lines.” Continued the paper’s correspondent, “politics is on a boom every where, Elk [K]nob an exception. The Democratic party seems to be gaining ground every where… I am unable to see how all who love prosperity more than party can keep from turning. Cleveland and Fowle and liberty and low taxes, is our motto on Elk.” The motto referred to the ticket of incumbent President Grover Cleveland, whose running mate was Allen G. Thurman. Fowle was, apparently, a figure in Democratic politics more locally. The writer continued, after warning young men in particular against voting the Republican ticket, “to beware of the Prohibition party,” also, “which is only a trap to catch Democrats for the aid of the republicans.” Asserted the correspondent, “[o]ur interests will be best served and protected by re-electing Grover Cleveland, so let nothing drive us from this.” “Let every one do his part,” proclaimed the author, “and victory is ours.” The letter was signed, anonymously, by “Good Democrat.” This submission was, seemingly from a local subscriber; the Watauga Democrat newspaper at this time was, like many small-town papers, established and published to support a particular party, as the name suggests.
September 14, 1933
“JUDGES NAMED TO HOLD PROHIBITION ELECTION LOCALLY,’ a banner headline this week, reported that, “R.S. Swift, chairman of the Watauga County Board of Elections, has released a list of the judges which have been elected to serve in the election of November 7th, when voters of North Carolina will vote on the 21st amendment to the Constitution, repealing the Eighteenth, commonly known as the prohibition act. In accordance with the statute, one person generally known to be opposed to repeal and one generally known to favor it, together with the registrars who served in the last general election, will constitute the boards in the various precincts.” The article named the selected judges, one for and one against ending prohibition, from local townships in Watauga County. The article also covered the matter of registration for participation by the public in the upcoming general referendum on the matter. “Mr. Swift particularly calls attention to the provisions of the statute as to registration. The books will be open only one day, on the second Saturday before the election, October 28. The registrars will keep the books open that day for the purpose of registering electors not already registered. The Saturday preceding the election on Tuesday is challenge day, the same being Saturday, November 4th, and the registrars will attend the polling places with their books for the purpose of challenging the voters on that day.” Continued the notice, “[a]bsentee voting is prohibited in the prohibition election.”