Editor: In the early 1960s I was assigned a new Navy ship in Norfolk, Virginia. Coming from California, this was a total cultural shock for my wife and me as we had never experienced the racial divide that existed at the time in the south. All bathrooms, water coolers and phone booths had a sign for dividing white and colored folks to use. We were able to rent an apartment, but it was restricted to whites only.
However, where it really hit home was during the presidential election in 1963. That was the first election we were able to participate in. We were really excited and eager to vote. So, off to the polls we went and then, after waiting (in the white-only line) we received our ballots and discovered we could not vote as we were registered Democrats. We objected and were handed a slip of paper, like all Democrats and people of color, and told we had to write in all the Democrat electors on the line for a Democrat candidate. (Lyndon Johnson’s name was not on the ballot.) Of course, we had no idea who the electors were, so we sadly left the polling station. Guess who won in the state? It was not Johnson. Fortunately, the US passed legislation to prevent that scenario from reoccurring, but I am wondering if we will be able to maintain open and free elections over the zeal of some states to ensure their party wins all elections.
Lake Havasu City