While taking some Lion Club members on a tour of the bell tower in the historic Logan County Courthouse, judge executive Logan Chick found a very old voting box that once held paper ballots for the city of Auburn. Chick admits his knowledge of the box is limited, however, he is sure of its origin and what it was once used for.
The box, which is approximately a foot and a half tall, has two flaps in the front once used to lock it. Although it is beaten up a bit, suffering from a few dents that were inflicted over time, the words painted on the front are almost as clear as the day it was used- “Auburn Dem. No. 24.”
Logan County Clerk Scottie Harper agreed with Chick’s assumption that the box was indeed used for voting, but even he was unclear the time period it was used in.
“I’m quite sure it was used in Auburn of course,” said Harper. “And I’m also quite sure the No. 24 stands for the precincts in Logan County at the time. But I’m not sure what year they were used.” Logan County now has 20 precincts.
Former Logan County Clerk Kenny Chapman, who retired in 2007 after 29 years of service, said he dates the box back way before 1962, which is when he was old enough to vote. Chapman said when he turned 18, the mechanical machines were already being used.
“When I was clerk we used to use the old metal boxes for absentee votes,” said Chapman, adding that was probably why the box was found in the courthouse. “They used these boxes to put paper votes in before the mechanical voting machine.”
As far as adorning the Democratic insignia, Chapman says he’s not sure if there were separate boxes for democratic votes and republican votes. He said he thought they sorted them out once they were cast.
“Voting is totally different now than the way it was done years ago,” said Harper. “Now there is more security and integrity. The technology we have now has surpassed writing on a piece of paper and putting it in a locked box.”
Chapman says he remembers there being a few more of those boxes around when he was still around the clerk’s office, but he says he’s not sure where they all went.