[C.1902 Pennsylvania Election Polling Place Broadside:] Instructions to Voters and Election Officers.
Pursuant to an Act of the Pennsylvania Assembly concerning elections, the state required that sections of that Act pertaining to voting procedures, ballots, voters, and, election officers was to be published for distribution at polling places on election day. Here those pertinent sections of the Act are published as a broadside; at the bottom is this printed note:
Note.—At the opening of the polls in each voting place, copies of the above [Sections 21 to 27] must be immediately posted at or in each voting shelf or compartment…copies must be immediately posted in or about the voting room… Copies of the same must be given to any voter at his request.
The broadside contains references to “this Commonwealth” and discusses proper procedures to mark one’s ballot (only male voters are referred to) to prevent it from being invalidated—an issue which remains very applicable in 2020: “Ballots not marked, or improperly or defectively marked shall be endorsed as defective, but shall be preserved with the other ballots.”
We date this election polling place broadside to c.1902 as we have discovered the identical text published in an Indiana, Pennsylvania newspaper on October 22 of that year. An earlier version these voting instructions, with similar text, though with different “Section” arrangements, is seen in an 1892 newspaper, suggesting that the text was amended over time.¹
Description: [C.1902 Pennsylvania Election Polling Place Broadside:] Instructions to Voters and Election Officers.
[Pennsylvania, c.1902]. Broadside. Approx. 15½ x 10½ inches. Laid down on stiff board; fold lines; minor creasing; Very Good.
Note. 1. The Indiana Democrat, Wednesday, October 22, 1902 (Indiana, Pennsylvania), p13. Cf. The Columbian, Friday, November 4, 1892 (Bloomsbury, Pennsylvania), p1.