January 16, 1960: We Get Voting Machines
This front page marks the day that the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners announced that the county would be acquiring voting machines to use for the first time ever in that year’s elections.
An article from Nov. 9 later that year, after the general election, proclaims that Elkhart county achieved its highest ever voter turnout, with 88 percent of registered voters showing up to the polls. Election officials suggested this was due in part to the voting machines speeding up the process. This was also the year in which John F. Kennedy was elected president.
The news of the voting machines’ adoption in January ran alongside a story about a recount from the previous November’s general election, in which republican Frank Parmater was elected to the office of mayor by a margin of just 10 votes over his democratic opponent, Dick Corns. Corns had been serving in the office since the election and, even after Parmater was sworn in, refused to vacate the office unless he was issued a court order. The democrats, the story says, were expected to contest the recount, believing that nearly 600 votes were left out of the recount. The end result of the election deadlock was that the two men ended up sharing the office of mayor for the remainder of the term.
In world news that day, Japanese police ejected a group of 700 students from the Tokyo airport, where the students were protesting Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi’s trip to the US to sign an anti-Communism security treaty. The article, “The students who had barricaded themselves inside the airport restaurant and bar were hauled out one by one, some kicking and screaming, some crying, some smiling defiantly.” 79 of the students were arrested, and Kishi departed on time.