The Election That Ended in a Tie

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Throughout Roane County’s 212 years of existence, there have been several close elections. One of those elections involved a tie between Maggie (Madge) (Fulks) Sneed and Charles Snow for the Circuit/Criminal Court Clerk in 1962. For thirty-two years the Fulks family had occupied the Circuit/Criminal Court Clerkship in Roane County. Josh Fulks was first elected in 1930 and served until he died in 1947. Then his widow, Clara Fulks served from 1947 to 1962. In 1962, Mrs. Fulks decided to retire, and when the 1962 election came up, their daughter, Maggie (Madge) Sneed ran for office. Her opponent was Charles Snow. At first, the unofficial election results showed that Maggie Sneed had won by one vote. However, an error was found in the Kingston Ward 1 precinct vote count which gave Charles Snow another vote that had not been counted. The final tally was 2720 for Sneed and 2720 for Snow ending in a tie. State law gave the Roane County Election Commission the right to make the final decision for the office. The Election Commission chose Maggie Sneed.

Four years later in 1966, Maggie Sneed and Charles Snow faced off again. And again it was a very close race. This time Charles Snow came out victorious by 43 votes out of 7193 votes cast. That same year, Robert Audubon Ladd won by seven votes in the School Superintendent election. He was the first School Superintendent to be elected by vote. The race for sheriff was won by Robert L. Elliott by 34 votes over the incumbent Sheriff Herbert Stanley. Charles Snow served as Circuit/Criminal Court Clerk for 20 years from 1966 to 1986. Maggie Sneed became the Register of Deeds in 1972 when Marilyn Black resigned. She served in that position for 10 years.

Originally Written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, February 2014.