Saturday, March 09, 2013

Pinkham's Grant gets right with the world

On March 1, the town of Pinkham's Grant was "bailed out" of the requirement that any change in its voting procedures had to be pre-cleared with the Federal government. Nine other New Hampshire communities were likewise suspected of suppressing minority voters, and likewise have now been forgiven.

It seems that New Hampshire had a literacy test in 1965, and the radical notion that a voter ought to be able to read the ballot put in front of him or her was just too much to accept. That, plus the fact that fewer than half of its adults were registered to vote or turned out to vote, triggered the Federal oversight.

Pinkham's Grant today has a population of nine. If it were the same in 1965, then I suppose that only four people had bothered to vote the previous year.

The community was founded by Daniel Pinkham of Lee, not far from where I live. Mr. Pinkham went north with his family in the winter with all their worldly goods in a sled, which was pulled by a pig in harness. I have always had a fondness for Pinkham's Grant, and I am glad that after more than half a century it has finally gotten right with the world.


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