In 1957, there were 46,206 registered voters in Arlington County, and there were 37 election precincts.
25 years before, when the first County Board members were elected under the current County Manager system of government on November 3rd, 1931, only 6,700 people voted in 11 districts around the county.
How did Arlingtonians vote in the 1950s? Voting machines! The photograph above shows county employees moving voting machines in August, 1956. The Public Buildings Division of the Department of Public Service had 32 employees during the 1956/1957 financial year. Besides caring for all county buildings, except public schools, the unit handled the maintenance, set up and storage for all 110 of the county’s voting machines.
The information here can be found in the 1956/1957 Arlington County Annual Report. These reports, found in the Virginia Room, give statistics and descriptions of all departments of the county government from the 1940s into the 1980s. They provide a wonderful snapshot of Arlington County for any given year.
What About You?
Do you remember elections in Arlington? What was it like to vote? Let us know what you remember!