Harper’s Weekly – October 7, 1871

After the polls closed and the ballot box shenanigans were complete, two canvassers in each district tallied the votes and forwarded the results to election headquarters. Now Tweed played his key card — counting.

While in jail shortly before his death, Tweed explained how he controlled elections: “Count the ballots in bulk, or without counting them announce the result in bulk, or change from one to the other, as the case may have been. The ballots made no result. The counters made the result.”

As the 1871 election approached, Nast banged away in conjunction with his repetitive campaign slogan: What are you going to do about it?