What Was Happening in Ann Arbor on November 5, 1880?

The big news was the recent election! Nationally, the government was in the hands of the Republican party and the article in the paper said “we have full to believe that the administration of James A. Garfield will be as pure and patriotic” as Rutherford B. Hayes’ administration was.

Locally, the Ann Arbor Courier said it was “utterly impossible” to give complete results from the local races that had taken place three days earlier. As best they could tell, the winners were Joe T. Jacobs for state senator, William D. Harriman for probate judge, Everett B. Clark for county clerk (winning despite a “spirited and fierce opposition” candidate) and the prosecuting attorney race was still too close to call.

Compare this with our primary elections this past August. I walked across the street to our polling place at about 7:45 and by 8:15, there were lists of votes counted for Ward 1, Precinct 4. I then went back to my front porch and tweeted the results to the Ann Arbor Chronicle, where reporters were standing by to post my results. Around town, other volunteers were getting results in their wards and the Chronicle put the whole list up on its website.

What would the writers of the Courier have to say about all that?! (And the fact that I am a woman who votes in every election!)

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