Sunday, February 10, 2008

Glenn Votes (or, access to the polls, 1940-style)


[Image description--a black-and-white news photo shows a man carrying another man across wooden planks leaving a building, with signs indicating that it's a polling location.]
This image is from Changing Times: Los Angeles in Photographs, 1920-1990, an online exhibit of Los Angeles Times photos, hosted by UCLA Libraries. I've drawn from this archive before, but this photo in contrast (or comparison) to so many photos from the polls this last week caught my attention anew. Glenn Switzer, the man being carried above, was a veteran disabled in World War I. To vote in Duarte, California, in 1940, he had to be carried by another man, Walter Howard. The ground looks muddy; those wooden planks are a makeshift sidewalk for pedestrian voters, but they're insufficient for Switzer's independent access, and they probably kept a lot of other folks from even trying to vote that November.

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