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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Who'd A'thought in the Year 2005 ...

For those of you who live in the outside world, you would probably be a bit taken aback to learn that politicians here in Appalachia still, in the year of our Lord 2005, make it a practice (allegedly) to buy votes with the promise of liquor, cigarettes, and beer - and pork rinds. And it (allegedly) works.
Questionable votes
By Laurence Hammack, Roanoke Times

In the town of Appalachia, some people say they were offered alcohol or cigarettes for their votes in a local election.

APPALACHIA — At first, Christina McKinney just laughed at the suggestion that she sell her vote for a pack of cigarettes and a bag of fried pork skins.

Then McKinney started hearing stories from her neighbors in Appalachia: They too had been approached by a supporter of a town council candidate, she said, and offered beer, booze or cigarettes in exchange for their votes.

One year later, a state police investigation into the election continues.

"You're talking about messing with an election," said Rick Bowman, a candidate for Appalachia Town Council who learned of the vote-buying allegations while campaigning in McKinney's low-income neighborhood.

"You're talking about the heart of democracy." (link)
It may involve the heart of democracy, Rick, but we're also talking about a bag of pork skins, man. Even I would be tempted by that.

I'm kind of surprised, this area being the center of the world's methamphetamine manufacture and use, that local politicians aren't pushing drugs to a receptive public.

Call it expanding the voter base.