Madison County had its reputation for crooked politics while I worked out there in the 1990s and 2000s. Peter Dawes at the Mountain Guardian frequently published exposes on this or that, which only cemented his and the contributors’ reputations for suffering stupidity and mental illness. Dawes would frequently ask how anybody could assume a county wherein a person was shot in broad daylight on the courthouse steps with no witnesses was not corrupt.

Then there was the year I lived there and tried to vote. My name was not on the rolls, so with many calls they established I was indeed registered. They let me vote, but then they placed my completed ballot in a brown paper sack. Yeah, right.

Well, today, the local daily has an article exposing corruption from the Ponder machine. The headline makes it sound like former state senator R.L. Clark has some kind of Geraldo Rivera vault with his purchase of an old ballot box. Instead, it tells the tale of the two ballot box system that empowered Zeno Ponder one year to garner a vote tally higher than the number of registered and eligible voters. You may read more here.