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Food, Drink, and Voting Fraud in U. S. History

Chicken and cornmeal dumplings soup, recipes below 
We continue our series Stumping and Eating today with a look at voting just after the U. S. civil war. The practice of plying lower income citizens with food and drink in exchange for their votes continued rather easily until after the Reconstruction period—1865-1877. It wasn’t until after that period that states started using secret ballots. Previous to the 1880s each political party used different colored ballots which allowed them to know how each eligible male voted (women remained disenfranchised until 1920). It wasn’t until the cost of buying votes with a meal and stiff drink became too expensive that party leaders championed the secret ballot during the Gilded Age (1877-1920). Historian Joe Gray Taylor insists “the most striking fact about the diet of the New South, from the Civil War through World War II, is not that it changed, but how little it changed.” Some traditional get out the vote meals I found included chicken and biscuits, turkey dinners, roast beef dinners, and soup and sandwiches. Here are some hearty chicken and dumpling soup recipes

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