Politics nowadays often turn nasty as opposing political parties seek to discredit their opponents. Although more common today, political shenanigans occasionally occurred when Americans debated whether to adopt or reject the newly proposed Constitution in 1787–1788. A good example of such trickery occurred in Hertford County, N.C., in March 1788.
Free, frequent, and honest elections are essential in republics. Between 1787 and 1790, more than 1,600 delegates were elected to the state conventions to ratify the Constitution. Most of these elections were uneventful, but a few were disputed and some were fraught with intimidation or violence.