Archivist Attic – WWII and the Voting Seabees

World War II made it harder for people to do things, such as find fresh food, buy gasoline and get new clothes. Things were even harder to get if you were in the Seabees, where even cigarettes were rationed. But one thing that every commander tried to provide Seabees was the ability to exercise their right to vote.

A 1945 voting broadsheet with information and instructions.

A 1945 voting broadsheet with information and instructions.

Broadsheets were set up in various locations advertising that the Navy would “bring you timely information on elections” and instructions on how to get the necessary information needed to vote.

A memo, circa 1944, instructing the 7th Naval Construction Battalion on the proper distribution of voting cards.

A memo, circa 1944, instructing the 7th Naval Construction Battalion on the proper distribution of voting cards.

After a Seabee was signed up to vote, they voted using voting cards. Instructions were given to the voting officer, who distributed to the rest of the battalion. Making sure that it was as easy to vote as possible was his job.

A voting area created out of a tent, October 3, 1944.

A voting area created out of a tent, October 3, 1944.

Once everyone had their voting cards, they needed a place to vote. Using Seabee ingenuity, they made voting places and booths.

Special instructions on the censorship of voting ballots,  Hawaiian Area, Naval Construction Brigades, October 3, 1944.

Special instructions on the censorship of voting ballots, Hawaiian Area, Naval Construction Brigades, October 3, 1944.

Voting was taken so seriously that special instructions were sent out making sure that “ballots shall not be censored.” This insured that the normal protocol for censoring mail would not be applied to the ballots. These measures made it as easy as possible for our service men and women to vote in various elections even as the world was engaging in World War II.

Meet the Archivist: Ingi House

Meet the Archivist: Ingi House

Ingi House is originally from Kansas where she got her B.A. in history from the University of Kansas and M.L.S. from Emporia State University. After working for the Dole Institute of Politics she moved to the East Coast. In Washington D.C. she worked at the National Archives and Records Administration and then at the Defense Acquisition University where she became a Certified Archivist. Her continued enjoyment of military history led her to switching coasts and coming to work for the Seabee Museum where she is collection manager for the archives and records manager liaison.

 

 

One comment on “Archivist Attic – WWII and the Voting Seabees

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s