July 29, 2011

Artifact #38: Automatic Ballot Box and election fraud.

(Click image to enlarge)

If only this card could talk! Why did Soapy have and keep this card? What was his plan? This firms "automatic ballot box" no doubt interfered with Soapy's election fraud duties. Did he perhaps plan to run the company out of Denver or to obtain a machine and figure out a way to disengage the mechanism?

(Click image to enlarge)

Family members and those who have my book know that Soapy was involved in election fraud. Both Republican and Democrat officials dealt in election fraud to get their candidates elected. In Denver the Republicans were so corrupt that they engaged Soapy's help in fraudulent registration and ballot box collection and counting. The most historically noted is the election of 1889 in which Soapy was subpoenaed to testify in court about his involvement. As a witness he was protected against prosecution for his roll in the scandal which led to the ousting of Denver's Mayor, Wolfe Londoner in 1890.

I could not find anything online about the Matthews' Automatic Ballot Box Company or it's officers. I was able to locate some interesting information about "automatic" voting. The first official use of a lever type voting machine, known then as the "Myers Automatic Booth," occurred in Lockport, New York in 1892 (History of the voting machines).

The Acme automatic voting machine
Circa 1880
Smithsonian collection

In the words of Jacob H. Myers, this machine was designed to "protect mechanically the voter from rascaldom, and make the process of casting the ballot perfectly plain, simple and secret." ( A Brief Illustrated History of Voting).

(Click image to enlarge)

On the back of the card Soapy wrote what appears to read "Grow + Veach." These are probably names and I am willing to bet Veach is actually Veatch, as in Denver Police Chief,  J. C. Veatch. If this is correct then that dates this card to about 1893-1894 as Veatch served in 1893 but was fired after only a few months by Governor Waite at the time of the City Hall War. Veatch continued to lead opposition against the governor, including leading armed ex-police and firemen into Cripple Creek during the miners strike of 1894.

I can always use your help so I invite any comments, suggestions, questions and opinions! Thank you.

Election fraud: December 26, 2010, October 21, 2009 

J. C. Veatch: pages 268, 296-97, 328, 346, 348.

1889: Soapy assaults Rocky Mountain News manager, John Arkins, for mentioning his family in News articles along side Soapy’s criminal acts.

Jeff Smith


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving your comment and/or question on my blog. I always read, and will answer all questions left here. Please know that they are greatly appreciated. -Jeff Smith