How I Stole Elections

Marlin Hawkins served as an elected official in Conway County, Arkansas for 38 years — for most of that time as sheriff. He built up a legendary political machine, being able not only to win reelection for himself (19 times) but also to deliver votes for other candidates. He often boasted that he could accurately predict the outcome of every election in the county.

It was long suspected that he was rigging the elections, especially since absentee voters would always vote for him by a wide margin, but no one could ever prove anything.

After he retired in 1978, Hawkins eventually wrote his autobiography, which he brazenly titled How I Stole Elections (available on Amazon). He joked that he "stole" them by "treating my neighbors right."
But no, he stole them by ballot fraud.

His book came out in 1991. The year after, some people who were remodeling their house discovered a whole stash of marked ballots from a 1968 election hidden in their attic. The house had previously been owned by one of Hawkins' deputies.

Hawkins got away with it because the statute of limitations had expired in 1974. He died in 1995.

More info about him at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

Palm Beach Post - Jan 9, 1992

     Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 09, 2017
     Category: Government | Politics | Books | 1990s

If he wasn't honest enough to allow the electorate to decide who would serve in offices, what other shenanigans took place during his illicit tenure as sheriff?

La plus ca change, la plus la meme chose.
Posted by KDP on 03/09/17 at 12:56 PM
He must have had a lot of help, since there are a number of checks to prevent voter fraud. Surprising that his opponents couldn't figure out how he was doing it and put measures in place to stop it or at least reduce it. Winning 19 elections in a row shows that his opponents must have been completely incompetent or he was innocent. 200 ballots with a tenuous connection is no proof of rigging 19 elections.
Posted by RobK on 03/10/17 at 10:41 AM
"Hawkins, a life-long Democrat..."

Big surprise.
Posted by A Nonny Mouse on 03/13/17 at 08:15 AM
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