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Interview with Joyce Ann Locklear, May 30, 1973

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Title:
Interview with Joyce Ann Locklear, May 30, 1973
Creator:
Locklear, Joyce Ann ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Florida History ( local )
Lumbee Oral History Collection ( local )
Spatial Coverage:
Lumbee County (Fla.)

Notes

Funding:
This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
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LUM 81 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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Full Text
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
Interviewee: Joyce Ann Locklear
Interviewer: Janie M. Locklear
Date: May 30, 1973


J: This is May 30, 1973 and I am at Lumberton, North Carolina
at the County Board of Elections talking with the executive
secretary, Mrs. Joyce Locklear. This is the American Indian
Oral Histories Program with the Doris Duke Foundation under
the auspices of the University of Florida. This is Janie
Maynor Locklear. Joyce, tell me a little bit about
yourself. When is your birthday? How old are you?
L: Oh God, I am thirty-one. I was born February 21, 1942.
J: What community did you grow up in as a child?
L: Back Swamp.
J: Did you stay there all during your childhood, or did your
family move at any time?
L: No, I moved around during my childhood.
J: Where is Back Swamp? What town is it near in Robeson?
L: Rowland, between Pembroke and Rowland.
J: Where did you attend school, Joyce?
L: Pembroke, Dee French Elementary. When I left I went to
Pembroke High.
J: What year did you finish at Pembroke High School?
L: 1960.
J: Then what did you do upon graduating from high school?
L: I went to Washington, D.C., and stayed about six months. I
worked in the bookkeeping department for a large company.
Then I left and came home. I worked with F.T. Yates in
Pembroke. I left there and went to Charlotte and worked a
while and then I came back home and went back to work for
F.T. Yates in Pembroke. Then I got married and I have
worked in several different places since then.
J: Did you work at Pembroke State University?
L: Yes, I worked there at Pembroke State University for two and
a half years.
J: That was immediately prior to coming here?
1


L: Yes. Before then, I worked at B. F. Goodrich Footwear
Company as personnel clerk for over three years.
J: Who were your parents?
L: My father is James Smith. He is from Columbus County and my
mother was Thelma Brown and she was raised here in Robeson
County. There are five children in my family.
J: What are their names?
L: I have one brother, James Rufus. I have three sisters:
Thelma, Jo Ann, and Ruby.
J: What is your brother doing now?
L: My brother works up in a plant near Maxton. Just what his
job is, I could not tell you.
J: What about the girls?
L: I have one sister who works at the Converse Footwear plant.
I have one sister, Jo Ann, who is the clerk of the Court's
Office here in Robeson County at Lumberton. My sister Ruby
works as assistant bookkeeper at Pembroke State University.
J: After you completed high school, did you take any further
secretarial training?
L: No.
J: Did you take business courses while you were in high school?
L: I took business courses while I was in high school.
J: When you were growing up as a child, what did your father
do?
L: My father was a farmer. We had a small farm--he owned his
farm.
J: So, as a child you learned to work on the farm. What crops
did you grow?
L: We had tobacco, cotton, and corn.
J: Has that changed, or does your father still work at it?
L: No, my father has rented his farm out. He is not able to
work it anymore.
2


J: You mentioned that you left home a couple of times and then
decided that you wanted to come back. Tell us why.
L: Well, there is no place like home, I guess.
J: Did you just have a desire to come back to Pembroke? Did
you get homesick, or were you unsatisfied with what you were
doing when you were away?
L: No, I kind of liked it away, but at that time I was dating
my husband (the man I am married to now), so that decided
it. That is the reason I really I came home.
J: Who is your husband? What is his name?
L: Ambrose Locklear Jr.
J: And what does he do?
L: He is an inspector in the Columbus County Health Department.
J: Do you have any children?
L: Yes, I have on little girl.
J: What is her name and how old is she?
L: Robbie Renee, and she will be three July seventh.
J: Where does she stay every day while you are working?
L: She stays with my neighbor, Betty Hayes.
J: She stays at home with her?
L: She stays right close by my house--this lady she stays with
each day.
J: We mentioned that you worked at Pembroke State University
for a couple of years. What did you do there?
L: I was the departmental secretary in the Biology Department.
J: When did you come to work at the County Board of Elections?
L: April 10, 1972.
J: So, you have been here a little over a year now.
L: Yes.
J: What enticed you to choose this as a profession?
3


L: Well, I knew one of the Indians in the county had never held
a job as executive secretary nor had there been any Indians
working in this office and thought it would be good to make
a change for the county.
J: So the executive secretary that had been here, what is her
name?
L: Miss Lucy Benning.
J: Do you know how long she worked here?
L: Fourteen years.
J: She was here fourteen years, and she has resigned?
L: That is right.
J: Was her resignation prompted by a change in the Board of
Elections?
L: Yes, I think so.
J: Tell me a little bit about your Board of Elections here in
Robeson County.
L: Well, on the County Board, I have three board members. We
have a black, and Indian, and a white.
J: What are their names?
L: The black is Mr. Washington Hawkins. The white is Mr.
Joseph C. Ward, and the Indian is Mr. John Robert Jones.
J: Who is chairman of the Board of Elections?
L: Mr. Jones.
J: Was this the first Board of Elections that was made up of
people from all three races in Robeson?
L: Yes.
J: So, in 1972, this whole office sort of made a drastic
change, did it not?
L: A change, right.
J: There was a little bit of controversy concerning the
chairman of the Board of Elections back in the beginning.
Can you tell me a little bit about that?
4


L: Well, I think Mr. Jones--a motion was made for him to be
chairman of the board. He is a Republican and an Indian.
Mr. Hawkins seconded the motion before he thought about it,
then he wanted to take it back. It was too late then. So
the State Board decided he would be chairman of the board.
J: How long a period was there in which Mr. Ward was appointed?
L: As acting chairman?
J: As acting chairman. How long did he serve in that capacity
before here was a ruling from the State Board of Elections?
L: Until about the first of May. I believe about May the
fourth.
J: That was a little bit before the primaries?
L: From March until the beginning of May.
J: So, there was a ruling from the State Board of Elections and
also the Attorney General's office?
L: Right.
J: Mr. Jones was elected chairman?
L: Right.
J: How long will this present board serve?
L: They will serve for two years.
J: Two year terms. After this board took their seats, was
there not a drastic change in the precinct holders?
L: Yes. They have put more Indians and coloreds as precinct
officials and in each precinct. In most precincts all of
them were white until this time.
J: Are there any precincts where they are predominantly Indian
or predominantly black but do not have Indian or black
representation?
L: No. There were, but now I think they have.
J: But now, you think that there are representations in all of
them.
L: Right.
5


J: Can you tell me when you came to work here, how many Indians
and blacks were precinct officials?
L: Twenty-one, I think.
J: Now the figure is?
L: I believe we have sixty-some appointed now.
J: So, there is a drastic change in the minority
representations as election officials. I guess when you
came to work here you had a lot of catching up to do, did
you not?
L: Quite a bit. The office was really behind. There had been
quite a few, I think, close to 3-4,000 new registrations.
They were just beginning to start working on them and had an
election May 6. So, we just about worked day and night to
get the work done in order to carry out our elections.
J: Do you have any permanent help?
L: Yes, I have one full-time clerk. Until I came here, there
was no full-time help. She had three ladies that were
working on a part-time basis just about year-around and now
I have the one full-time clerk. That is all the help I
need.
J: What race is she?
L: She is an Indian.
J: Prior to an election, does it necessitate engaging some
part-time help?
L: Yes.
J: In the past general election, how many employees did you
hire?
L: I hired three part-time helpers.
J: What were their races?
L: One was black, one was white, and one was Indian.
J: Now, Mrs. Locklear, who has the authority to hire employees?
Is this done by the Board of Elections?
L: Well, full-time employees would have to be approved by my
Board here, and then the County Commissioners would have to
6


approve it. But part-time help--I can hire any part-time
help and as much part-time help as needed.
J: Do they have an hourly wage, or pay by the day?
L: They are paid by the hour.
J: What about your permanent help?
L: She is paid on a monthly basis.
J: Mrs. Locklear, you mentioned that there were many new
registrations back in the spring of 1972 when you came to
work here. Can you give me a little bit of information
about how the registration has increased since you were
here, by race?
L: Yes. I think the Indians, I guess, there have been about
3,000 new ones registered. And the blacks have greatly
increased. I would guess that there have been close to a
couple of thousand blacks, and a few hundred whites. But it
has increased. There were 31,000 registered voters when I
came here. We have 39,000 now. Most of those have been
blacks and Indians.
J: So the total registration for the county is what?
L: Close to 39,000.
J: Do you feel like this is the bulk of the minority
registration, or do you see a need for more to be done? How
do you think we are averaging as far as that concerned?
L: Well, I would like to see everybody from all three races
registered. But, what I think really needs to be done in
the county is teach people the importance of voting. We
have so many that register and never vote. I think a great
need would be to have some sort of classes or information or
some thing set-up to teach people the importance of voting.
J: Some type of civic education?
L: Yes.
J: How many voted in the last general election?
L: I do not know right off hand.
J: Right around 1200.
L: That is fifty percent participation.
7


J: Well, have you had funds for this type of civic education to
go into the schools and to the community groups to work on
this type of thing?
L: No, we have not had any.
J: Have you requested any?
L: Well, we have it in our budget for this year, but, I do not
know if the commissioners will approve it or not.
J: So, you have civic education funds.
L: Right.
J: What does your budget run for the coming year?
L: I believe it is $61,000.
J: Have you found a difference in salaries? The salary that
you receive and the salary that the white who was former
Board of Elections secretary received when she was here?
L: Well, the former secretary was making about $5,500 and I am
making $5,000.
J: So, there is a difference. Of course, she had fourteen
years experience.
L: Right.
J: With the rate of inflation and the tremendous job that you
do, I feel that you are underpaid. Do you feel the same
way?
L: Yes, I know I am. I have a lot more responsibilities now
than she had. I have all the term elections, municipal
elections to do and she did not.
J: Oh, then this is the new state law?
L: Yes.
J: When did this take effect?
L: January 1st.
J: Have you done any municipal elections yet?
L: Yes, I have done school board and three special elections.
I have the municipal elections to take place for the towns
8


in November. I believe I got eleven towns in the county to
conduct their elections.
J: So, this is really going to be a tremendous task for this
office.
L: It will. That is right, to have to prepare for each town
and get each town's ballot written up.
J: Tell me a little bit about your procedure in elections. How
do you begin with the process of getting ready for an
election?
L: Well, first we have to process all our new registration
forms and get those in books. I write up and type the
instructions for the registrars and judges.
J: What about ballots? What is the procedure?
L: I have to make up the ballot and let the chairman of the
board sign it. My chairman has to proof it and sign the
ballot. So far, they have always been right. I have to get
it printed. If it is a county-wide election, I have to
count out by hand, how many ballots for each precinct. Plus
you give them one hundred percent plus five percent. A
hundred and five percent, that is what each precinct gets.
J: That is the number of ballots?
L: Yes.
J: I see. Then you usually have some type of training for your
precinct officials?
L: Yes. I always have them meet before an election. I always
have a training course, and go over the instructions to the
registrar and the judges from each precinct.
J: Do they get reimbursed for this activity?
L: Yes, they get paid for their knowledge, plus for a day's
work.
J: You mentioned that you were going to be in charge of the
city election from now on, and that would include the city
Boards of Education?
L: Right.
J: A delegation met with you and your Board of Trustees and
talked to you about a problem that they had seen which would
9


come up in the next election. Could you explain that a
little bit to me?
L: Well, the problem we have is the different school districts
in the county, the city school boards--I believe there are
five school boards in the county that do not run precinct-
wise or any inside the city limits, out in the county. I
have to determine whether or not the people live inside the
city school and mark it on the books. So, I will know how
many ballots to have printed and how many ballots to give
each precinct. Well, who votes in the city school
districts and who votes in the county.
J: This is really going to be a complicated test because it has
never been done before. Previously, though the cities have
handled their own elections, have they not?
L: Right.
J: Do you receive their registration? They have their own set
of registration books, do they not?
L: Well, some of them used our registration books, but they
took care of making up their own ballots. They marked in
the book, I guess, whoever gave in the school district.
J: So you have found some discrepancies about these people who
decide they want the city administration.
L: Right.
J: How do you anticipate rectifying this situation?
L: Well, I guess I might have to hire additional help and go
out to the school districts to the boundary lines and from
there back to the city limits to find out who lives inside
the school district and who does not.
J: You have already done this for one city election. Which one
was that?
L: St. Paul's.
J: What kind of task did you find before you there?
L: It is difficult.
J: Very difficult. Did you do this by yourself or did you have
help?
10


L: There were several precincts involved in this school board
and I had my precinct officials, the registrar in each
precinct, help me.
J: How many days did it take?
L: Just about a week.
J: How many miles did you travel?
L: I guess, about 400 and some.
J: So, this is going to have to be done by when?
L: Well, before November 6, it will have to be done. The
ballots are supposed to be cleaned up about thirty days
ahead of time. So, I have got till about the middle of
August, before I can start counting each district to find
out how many ballots I will need printed for each district.
J: Are you going to seek additional funds to do this?
L: I am asking for them, yes. I am asking for an additional
$7500 for this. So, I will be able to hire if I can get
some precinct officials who are familiar with the people to
help me.
J: Right. Make your task a lot easier if you had some one who
was familiar with the geographical area also. What kind of
cooperation have you found from our county Board of
Commissioners?
L: Well, sometimes they seem to cooperate and then again they
do not seem to understand or even want to try to understand
what the needs are. I have had a few that I have asked some
things of and they would not even talk about it with me.
J: Have you appeared before any county commissioner meetings?
L: Yes, two.
J: It has been brought to my attention that you see a need for
voting machines in this county. Could you tell me a little
bit about why you feel this way?
L: Yes. We have just about 30,000 registered voters. At some
of the larger polls, they go to the polls at six in the
morning and work until six or seven the next morning. That
is not fair to ask someone to work at a poll and to work
such long hours--although we work them here. Still it would
cut the hours down greatly and it would cut the precinct
11


help down tremendously. Eventually, they would pay for
themselves, the machines.
I took it before the county commissioners. My board members
approved it and it was taken before the county
commissioners. I have one here in my office for
demonstration. The commissioners asked to tour the plant in
Marion and make a decision on it. When the day came to go
to Marion I had two commissioners, the county manager, the
other girl that works here, and myself. That is all of the
county people that went. It has been completely dropped.
J: How much money would this cost the county?
L: A voting machine costs around $2,100. It is a Printo-matic.
It gives you the totals right then and there on a sheet. We
would need eighty-four machines, which would cost close to
$162,000.
J: Would the county have to pay for this at one time?
L: No. They could pay over a twenty-year period.
J: What are some of the objections that you hear concerning
voting machines for Robeson County?
L: I have quite a few people tell me, "Well, I do not believe
the people are ready for voting machines; I do not believe
they could understand how to vote on them." But they are
so simple. If the people would just take one look at the
machine, I feel sure that they are simpler than a paper
ballot.
J: Do you feel like the voting machine would help minority
participation in voting or hinder it?
L: I think it would help.
J: Do you think the uneducated person could learn to vote on
the machine? How would you go about educating people to use
the voting machine?
L: Yes, an uneducated person could be taught how to vote on a
voting machine. If we purchase voting machines they could
be set up in the county prior to an election and we could
put someone at each precinct to teach people how to use the
machine. Also, an uneducated person, if they go to a
precinct to vote now, can ask for assistance and receive it.
They can do the same with a voting machine.
J: Right. How has the community response been?
12


L: I have had quite a few people from the outside--everyone
that has seen the machine has liked it.
J: What about minority people who have come in to see the
machine?
L: Yes, they have liked it.
J: Do you think that the main opposition to the voting machine
has come from your minority county commissioners?
L: Right.
J: Do you feel like the minority people who have been here did
not know what to expect; that there was a fear of the
machine in general?
L: Right. I think that has been the whole problem. Because
once the minorities have seen it, they really talk about it,
"I thought it would be difficult to operate. I thought our
people could not operate it." Then once they have seen how
simple it is they realize that our people, minority people,
can operate it.
J: So, right now the matter has just sort of been pushed aside?
L: Right.
J: Where does the Robeson County stand in relation to the state
of North Carolina as far as number of registrations?
L: I believe were are ninth from the top.
J: Ninth in the state?
L: Yes.
J: So, it is your opinion that if voting machines are not
bought for the county that perhaps some precincts will need
to be split?
L: Yes, they would.
J: I know over at Pembroke precinct, where I am registrar, in
the last election we got to the polls around five-thirty,
and we were there until seven the following morning. Which
was an awful long time to work. And a registrar receives
only twenty-five dollars a day. But it does not go into
that second day, does it?
L: No, I feel sure; I think it should, because you work all day
and all night. You are not able to go to another job the
13


next morning. You work all day there, so actually, you are
losing two days' work.
J: That is true. Then voting machines definitely would cut
down on the number of counters, would they not?
L: Right. In thirty or thirty-five minutes after the polls
closed, you could have your returns in. You could go home
and fix your supper and go to bed.
J: Then it would definitely cut down the amount of people the
registrar would have to hire to help count the paper
ballots.
L: You would not have to hire counters. Also, on some of the
polls you could cut down on the assistance at the polls.
Some of the polls are small--just your registrar and the two
judges are all you would need.
J: What is the largest precinct in the county?
L: I think Pembroke is the largest.
J: Which precinct would be the smallest?
L: I believe it would be Smyrna.
J: In minority registration, what has been the process to
increase the minority registrants in Robeson County? Do you
think the commission registrars had anything to do with
this?
L: Yes. The registration commissioners are doing a great job
in registering the minorities. Ms. Brenda Brooks did a
tremendous job last year. I am sure she got thousands.
J: Define a commission registrar for us.
L: A registration commissioner can go anyplace in the county
and register anyone.
J: How many commission registrars do you now have?
L: I think we have fourteen.
J: What are their races?
L: We have five Indians, five blacks and the others are white.
J: Have you gotten more response out of the minority registrars
than you have the whites?
14


L: Yes.
J: How is a person chosen for this particular job?
L: Well, they are recommended from someone within the
community. Someone that sees a need to have a registrar in
the community recommends them.
J: Then it has to be approved by whom?
L: The county board has to approve the person.
J: Then the person has to be sworn in?
L: Yes.
J: I know that prior to 1971, there had been no minority
commission registrars in Robeson County, and there was
really a battle at one of the Board of Elections meetings
concerning Sam Turner. Do you know anything about that?
L: No, that was prior to my coming here.
J: Joyce, how have you been received by county residents and
county officials since you started work here?
L: Well, I feel like the county--well, I will say the whites in
the county, because it is true--have turned up their nose.
I have had a hard time winning them over. I feel like after
this last election in November, they were more with me than
they were before. Because they just did not feel like a
minority could handle the job. It has really been a
struggle for me. I have had quite a bit of controversy
since I have been here.
J: I think the situation was perhaps where they expected more
out of you than they would have.
L: Right. They always expect more than they would from one of
their own.
J: I remember some time ago something come out in the paper,
something about the hours you were working, or something
like this.
L: Yes. The lady that was here was white and she worked from
nine to five. When it was brought up, someone reported me
to the commissioners. Mr. Graham said I knew that my hours
were from eight-thirty to five. It was published in the
paper. Well, I did not know anything about the office
hours. I worked from nine to five, that is what Miss Gray
had informed me my office hours would be.
15


J: Who is Mr. Graham?
L: He is the county manager. So, since then I have been coming
to work at eight-thirty.
J: Do you get compensatory time for the time you have to spend
on an election?
L: I did not before, but since then, if he wants to be that
way, I can too. So I turn it in.
J: So, prior to the controversy over what hours you work, you
did not turn in overtime for the elections?
L: No.
J: But you are now?
L: Yes.
J: Well, I certainly do not blame you for that. What about the
people down at the courthouse? Do you feel like things are
becoming better than what they were when you first started
to working here?
L: Yes, I do. When I first started working, I could walk in--
if there would be talking, they would just shut up and it
made me feel like they were talking about me. They began
casually taking me into their conversations, and talking
with me.
J: What about whites who come in to register?
L: I have had quite a few whites come in to register and they
seem to accept me. Most of them have been living out of
state and moved here from where they only know two races.
Most of them have accepted me without question.
J: What about your registrars and judges?
L: Well, I have had one registrar quit. He was white. In the
beginning, I have had some tell me since the primary that
they had thought about quitting because of what I was. But
after they saw that I could do the job and that I was easy
to get along with, I have had quite a few commend me on the
job I was doing and tell me how good it was to be working
with me.
J: You said one quit
L: Yes.
16


J: Do you have any knowledge as to why?
L: Yes, because the three races on the board and myself.
J: Because of the changeover?
L: The changeover.
J: Did he tell you why he was quitting?
L: Yes, he did.
J: How do you answer a person like that, Joyce?
L: Well, I just said, "If you feel that way it is better that
you do quit instead of pretending and trying to work.
Because you will never be satisfied working as a registrar
and my giving instructions to you. You would not be
content."
J: I think minority people feel a lot freer about coming down
here because minority people were made to feel in the past
that this was a place where they did not tread. Or have you
heard stories as to this effect?
L: Yes, I have. I do feel like it is true. Before, there were
only white in here, and I have seen times that the minority
people did come in and they were kind of spoken to harshly
when I first came here to work. But I try to make anyone
that walks in my door feel at home and comfortable. I try
to treat him as I would like to be treated.
J: I think you have done a splendid job as far as that. What
about your physical facilities here? Do you feel like they
are adequate?
L: No.
J: Tell me a little bit why. Tell me what your office is like.
L: We are down in a basement. We have cement floors, plain
cement floors with nothing on them; cement walls, just like
a basement. There are half windows, you cannot see out of
them. We have the heat pipes for upstairs, running down
here. We have the sewage pipes over there. We have many
pipes overhead. In the winter time when they heat the
upstairs, it is so hot in here. It is about ninety
downstairs.
J: The pipes are exposed?
17


L: Yes they are.
J: What other offices are down in the basement?
L: The building inspector, electrical inspector, civil defense,
and a fire marshall's office. Civil defense and the fire
marshall's office do have tile on their floors, but we do
not. Our office is very small. We do not have enough room.
J: How many rooms do you have?
L: We have two small rooms. I do not have enough filing space.
We have two old metal cabinets to keep all of our materials
in and that is about it.
J: What about your board of elections meetings? Do you hold
them here?
L: We hold them here.
J: What about county residents who would like to sit in on your
meetings? Is there enough space?
L: Well, if I know ahead of time that we will have quite a few
people coming in, I try to reserve the auditorium upstairs.
J: What is the name of the building that your office is in?
L: It is the old agriculture building. I guess it is one of
the oldest buildings in the county.
J: Do you have adequate space for keeping your election ballots
prior to an election?
L: No.
J: What do you do then, Joyce?
L: Well, when we divide them and put them in boxes for each
precinct, we usually have to walk over them. I have stepped
over them, and even stepped on them to get what I needed.
J: I notice that you have ballot boxes and things stored in the
hallway out there.
L: Right. We have ballot boxes and booths stored in the hall.
J: And there is no storage facility, as such?
L: No.
J: These ballot boxes, are they for city elections?
18


L: Yes.
J: Well, Mrs. Locklear, can you tell me what you foresee as the
County Board of Elections' main responsibility to the
minority people in the future? What needs to be done in
order to increase minority representation here at the Board
of Elections?
L: More minority registration, more minority civic education,
and more minorities in office.
J: Do you have any class groups that come by to visit the
County Board of Elections?
L: No.
J: Well, this would be a need in the county, to let children
see just what takes place in here prior to an election.
L: Right.
J: Well, it has been nice talking to you, Mrs. Locklear. Thank
you a lot.
19


LUM 81A
Mrs. Joyce Ann Locklear (L)
Lumberton, North Carolina
Interviewer: Janie M. Locklear (I)
May 30, 1973
Typed by: Paula Williams
I: May 30, 1973. I'm at Lumberton, North Carolina, at the County
Board of Elections talking with the executive secretary, Mrs. Joyce
Locklear. This is the AMerican Indian Oral Histories Program with the
Doris Duke Foundation under the auspices of the University of Florida.
This is Janie Maynor Locklear. Joyce, tell me a little bit about your-
self. How many, uh...when is your birthday? How old are you?
L: Oh, God. I'm thirty-one. I was born February 21 of/742.
I: What community did you grow up in as a child?
L: cBack! Swamp.
I: Back Swamp. Did you stay there all during your childhood, or did your
y. i'^L i any time, or...?
L: No, I moved around during my childhood.
I: Where is Back Swamp? What town is it near in Robeson?
L: Rowland. Between Pembroke and Rowland.
I: Between Pembroke and Rowland. Where did you attend school, Joyce?
L: Pembroke, ur... __ r_-_ tk____ Elementary, and when I left, I
went to Pembroke High.
I: And what year did you finish at Pembroke Hight.Q 5co /
L: '60.
I: '60. Then what did you do upon graduating from high school?
L: I went to Washington, D.C., and stayed about six months, I guess,
, { /'.8 If gi/ / .n 'n nL.f*, ** ) ai la rge) ^t Ia._a
"v.er /i / / epioyrnenL for a large company. And I left, I came
A


LUM 81A 2
home and stayed a while, worked with F. T. /< L-( )in Pembroke. And
a- 3
I left there andAwent to Charlotte and worked a while, and then I came
back home and went back to work at j '/j-)in Pembroke. Then I
got married and I've worked in several different places since then.
I: Did you work at Pembroke State University?
L: Yes, I worked there at Pembroke State University for two and a half
years.
I: That was immediately prior to coming here?
L: Yes, uh-huh. And before then I worked over at B. F. Goodrich Footwear
Company as personnel clerk for over three years.
I: Joyce, what size family...who were your parents?
L: My father is James Smith. He is from Columbus County, and my mother
was Thelma Brown and she was A,..:tq, f.-dc in the county, Robeson
County. There was five children in my family.
I: And what were their names, Joyce?
L: I have one brother, \r,:." p "' r I have three sisters--Thelma,
Jo Ann, and Ruby.
I: And what is your brother doing now?
L: My brother works up in a plant up near Maxton. Just what his job is,
I couldn't tell you.
I: And what about the girls?
L: I have one sister who works at Converse Footwear Plant. And I have
one sister, Jo Ann works at m So 've~" here in Robeson County,
at Lumberton. And my sister Ruby works as assistant DDS'- over
at Pembroke State University.
I: After you completed high school, did you take any further secretarial
training?


LUM 81A 3
L: No.
I: ...or did you take business courses while you were in high school?
L: I took business courses while I was in high school.
I: When you were growing up a*re-te-*e, what did your father do?
L: My father was a farmer. We had a small farm--he owned his own farm.
I: And does he still live there?
L: Yes.
I: So, as a child you learned to work on the farm. What crops did you
grow?
L: We had tobacco, cotton, corn.
I: Has that changed? Or does your father still work it?
L: No, my father has rented his farm out. He's not able to work it
anymore.
I: You mentioned that you left home a couple of times and then decided
that you wanted to come back. Tell us why.
L: Well, there's no place that's home, I guess.
I: Did you just have a desire to come back to Pembroke? Did you get
Vj e.,? .?. dA '
homesick, or4unsatisfied with what you were doing when you were away,
or...?
L: No, I kind of liked it away, but at that time I was dating my husband...
I: Oh. -
L: o.a I'm married to Pi now, so it's kind of ____...I guess
that's the reason I really came home.
I: Who is your husband? What's his name?
L: Ambrose Locklear, Jr.
I: And what does he do?
L: He's an inspector in te County Health Department.
L: He's an inspector in the batson County Health Department.


LUM 81A 4
I: Do you have any children?
L: Yes, I have one little girl.
I: What's her name and how old is she?
L: Robbie Renee, and she'll be three July 7.
I: Where does she stay every day while you're working?
L: She stays with my neighbor, Betty Hayes.
I: She stays at home with her?
L: She stays right close by my house--this lady she stays with each day.
I: We mentioned that you worked at Pembroke State University for a couple
of years. What did you do there?
L: I was departmental secretary in the Biology Department.
I: When did you come to work at the County Board of Elections?
L: April 10 o-I;72.
I: /172. So you've been here a little over a year now.
L: Yes.
I: What enticed?) to want to choose this as a profession?
L: Well, I knew 'ae -' 'i' in aagfa county tat k et job
Is executive secretary ec f b.o e Indians working
in this office and thought it would be good to make a change for the
county.
I: So the executive secretary--what's her name that had been here?
L: Miss Lucy b A\w\C .
I: Do you know how long she worked here?
L: Fourteen years.
I: She was here fourteen years1 and she resigned, right?
L: That's right.


LUM 81A 5
I: Was her resignation prompted by a change in the Board of Elections?
L: Yes, I think so.
I: Tell me a little bit now about your Board of Elections here in
Robeson County.
L: Well, on the County Board, I have three Board members. We have a
black, an Indian, and a white.
I: And what are their names?
L: The black is Mr. Washington Hawkins. The white is Mr. Joseph C.
tgWardd / The Indian is Mr. John Robert Jiones, .
I: And who is chairman of the Board of Elections?
L: Mr. Jones.
I: Was this the first Board of Elections that was made up of people
from all three races in Robeson?
L: Yes, uh-huh.
I: ...in Robeson County. So, in 1972, this whole office sort of made
a drastic change, did it not?
L: A change, right.
I: There was a little bit of controversy concerning the chairman of the
Board of Elections back in the beginning. Can you tell me a little
bit about that?
L: Well, I think Mr. Jones was...a motion was made for him to be Chair-
man of the Board. He's a Republican and an Indian. And Mr. Hawkins
seconded the motion before he thought about it, then he wanted to
take it backhand it was too late then. And so the State Board
decided he would be Chairman of the Board.
I: How long a period was there in which...at that time Mr. Ward was
appointed, uh...


LUM 81A 6
L: As acting chairman.
I: As acting chairman. How long did he serve in that capacity before
there was a ~ea-l crA.t c. *' in the State Board of Elections?
L: Until about May, the first of May. I believe about May the fourth.
I: That was a little bit before the primaries?
L: From March, from March until the beginning of May.
I: So there was a ruling from the State Board of Elections and also
the Attorney General's office?
L: Right.
I: And Mr. Jones was elected chairman.
L: Right.
I: How long will this present board serve?
L: 7/-? serve for two years.
I: Two year ternn After this board took their seats, was there not a
drastic change in the precinct (holders?) ?
L: Yes. They've put more Indians as precinct officials and in
each precinct. In most precincts all of them were white until this
time.
I: Are there any precincts where they are predominantly Indian or pre-
dominantly black Awt don't have Indian or black representation?
L: No. There were, but now/they have.^
y Xut now you think that there are representations in all of themft
L: Right.
I: Can you tell me when you came to work here, how many Indians and
blacks were precinct officials?
L: Twenty-one, I think.


LUM 81A 7
I: And now the figure rakes?
L: I believe we have sixty-some appointed now.
I: So there is a drastic change in the minority representation 4ia aS
election officials. I guess when you came to work here you had a
lot of catching up to do, did you not?
L: Quite a bit. The office was way behind. There had been quite a few--
maybe...I think close to three or four thousand-new registrations
ac^4 d.- re iA 1' e.-e
heat they ha& just begun to start working onA and an election May 6.
So, we just about worked day and night to get the work done in order
to carry out our elections.
I: Do you have any permanent help?
L: Yes, I have one full-time clerk. Until I came here, there was no full-
time help. She had three ladies that were working ora part-time basis
just about year-round, and now I have the one full-time clerk. That's
all the help I needed.
I: And what race is she?
L: She's an Indian.
I: Prior to an election, does it necessitate engaging some part-time help?
L: Yes.
I: In the past general election, how many employees did you hire?
L: I hired three part-time helpers.
I: And what were their races?
L: One was black, one was white, and one was Indian.
I: Now, Mrs. Locklear, who has the authority to hire employees? Is this
done by the Board of Elections?
L: Well, full-time employees.have to be approved by my Board here, and
then the County Commissioners would have to approve it. But part-time


LUM 81A 8
help--I can hire any part-time help and as much part-time help as
needed.
I: Do they have an hourly wage, or pay by the day?
L: They're paid by the hour.
I: What about your permanent help?
L: She's paid on a monthly basis.
I: Mrs. Locklear, you mentioned that there were right many new regis-
trations back in the spring of/172 when you came to work here. Can
you give me a little bit of information about how the registration
has increased since you were here, by rank?
L: Yes. I think the Indians, I guess there have been about three thou-
sand new ones put on that was registered. And the blacks have greatly
increased. I'd guess that there has been close to a couple of thou-
sand blacks, and a few hundred whites. But it has increased I guess...
there was thirty-one thousand registered voters when I came here.
We have right at thirty-nine thousand now.
I: Uh-huh.
L: And as such from thirty-one to thirty-nine thousand, most of those
have been blacks and Indians.
I: So the total registration for the county is what?
L: Right close to thirty-nine thousand.
I: Right close to thirty-nine.okfay- Do you feel like this is the bulk
of the minority registration, or do you see a need for more to be
done, or just how do you think we're ai e ': ri r-ttr~-pt art-
4^ .1' a...n'/ n. .A f ^ ?


LUM 81A 9
L: Well, I see a need that--you know, I'd like to see everybody -fr ;-Z/J/
zt~.J' ) gets registered--but what I think really needs to be done in
the county is teach people the importance of voting. We have so many
that registers and never votes, and I think a great need would be
to have some sort of classes or information or some, set-up to teach
people the importance of voting.
I: Some type of civic education?
L: Yes.
I: The .: *$40 //vf tharvlas in the Pembroke precinct in the general
tIOc' c Aiy 7o '
election, do you know how many people are on the ._a-swearLng2
C3^et -to-a--hmttnrenir" rtS?
L: Yes.
I: And they voted what in the last general election?
L: I don't know right off hand...
I: Right around twelve hundred. Right around twelve hundred, so that's
a little less than...
L: ___'_. percent participation.
I: Right. Well, have you done much...have youAmuch funds for this type
of civic education, to go into the schools and to community groups
to work on this type thing?
L: No, we haven't had any.
I: Have you requested any?
L: Well, we have it our budget for this year, but I don't know if the
Commissioners will approve it or not.
I: What, you come in here, you have...
L: Yes.
I: ...a civic coordinates, civic education funds and...?


LUM 81A 10
L: Right, right.
doe
I: What i- your budget run for the coming year?
L: I believe it's ss.
I: SCtfl 3 thusand. Have you found a difference, a great difference
in the salaries? That salary that you receive and the salary that
the white who was former Board of Elections secretary;received when
she was...?
L: Well, the lady here, ;, l I believe she was making about
fifty-five--hundred a year, and I'm only making about feve-thousand
a year.
I: So there is a difference. Of course, she had fourteen years expe-
rience.
L: Right.
I: But with the rate of inflation and the tremendous job that you do
here, I feel like you're really being underpaid. Do you feel the
same way?
L: Yes! I Ik'-j I- 'do. I have a lot more responsibilities now than
she had. I have all the term elections, municipal elections to doi
and she did not.
I: Oh, then this is the new state law?
L: Yes.
I: When did this take effect?
L: January 1.
I: And have you done any municipal elections yet, or...?
L: Yes, I've done school board and two special elections--three special
elections, pr6bal--and I have the municipal elections to take place


LUM 81A 11
for the towns in November. I believe I got eleven towns in the
county to conduct their elections.
I: So this is really going to be a tremendous task for this office.
L: It will. That's right, to have to prepare for each town and get
each town's ballot written up.
I: Tell me a little bit about your procedure ~es in elections. How
do you begin with the process of getting ready for an election?
L: Well, first we have to process all our new registration forms and
get those in the books. And I type up...write up and type up the
instructions for registrars and aad-judges. And...
I: And what about ballots? What's the procedure?
L: Yes,. I have to make up the ballot and let the chairman of the
board sign it. )!''i my chairmen have to Kior i and sign the
ballot. So far, they've always been right.
I: Uh-huh.
L: And I have to get it printed. And if it's a county-wide election,
I have to count out by finger how many ballots for each precinct--
plus you give'em one hundred percent plus five percent. A hundred
and five percent, that's what each precinct gets.
I: That's the number of ballots.
L: Um-hmm. [affirmative]
I: I see. 'D- you usually.have some type of training for your precinct
officials?
L: Yes, uh-huh. I always have'em meet before...before an election,
I always have a training course, and go over the instructions to
the registrar and the judges from each precinct.
I: Do they get reimbursed for this activity?


LUM 81A 12
L: Yes. They get paid for their knowledge, plus for a day's work.
I: You mentioned that you were going to be in charge of the city
election from now on, and that would include the city Boards of
Education?
L: Right.
I: A delegation met with you and your Board of Trustees and talked
to you about a problem that they had seen which would come up in
the next election. Could you explain that a little bit to me?
L: Well, the problem, we have the different school districts in the
county, the city school boards...I believe there's five school
boards in the county wea- the county schools. And these city
school boards teat don't run precinct-wioe or any i? .. just
( i 0t ; ct tt IJt C
inside the city limits '.___ textbooks are outside the
city limits, out in the county. And I got to determine whether
or not the people live inside the city school or county school
and mark it on the books, so I'll know how many ballots to have
printed and how many ballots to give each precinct, and how many...
well, who votes in the city school districts and who votes in
the county.
I: This is really going to be a complicated test because it's never
been done before. Previously, though, the cities have handled
their own elections, have they not?
L: Right.
I: Do you receive their registration...they have their own set of
registration books, do they not?
L: Well, some of them/our registration books, but they took care
of making up their own ballots...


LUM 81A 13
I: Uh-huh.
L: ...and they marked in the book, I guess, who gave --, _>_
the school district.
I: So you have found some discrepancies there about these people
who decide they want the city administration.
L: Right.
I: How do you anticipate rectifying this situation, Mrs. Locklear?
L: Well, I guess I might have to hire additional help *e go out to
the school districts to the boundary lines, and just < ''f the
boundary lines back to the city limits to find out who lives in-
side the school district and who doesn't.
I: You've already done this for one city election. Which one was
that?
L: St. Paul's.
I: What kind of task did you find before you there?
L: It's difficult.
I: Very difficult. Did you do this by yourself, or did you have help?
L: Yes, I went out by my-, well, I had my...there was several precincts
involved in this school board, and I had my precinct officials--
the registrar in each precinct did help me.
I: How many days did it take?
L: Just about a week.
I: And how many miles did you travel?
L: I guess about four hundred and some.
I: So, this is going to have to be done by when?
L: Well, by November 6. Before November 6. It will have to be done.
The ballots are supposed to be cleaned up about thirty days ahead


LUM 81A 14
of time.
I: Um-hmm.
L: So I've got till maybe about the last of August, the middle of
August, before I can start counting each district to find out
how many ballots I will need printed...
I: Right.
L: ...for each district.
I: Are you going to seek additional funds to --- this?
L: I'm asking for them, yes. I'm asking for an additional seventy-
five hundred dollars for this, so I will be able to hire if I can
get some precinct officials who are familiar with the people to
help me.
I: Right. Make your task a lot easier if you had some t c
Lot C(
L: Right.
I: ...familiar with the geographical area also. What kind of co-
operation have you found from our county Board of Elections?
L: Well...
I: I mean, our County Board of Commissioners.
L: Well, sometimes they seem to cooperate, and then againthey don't
seem to understand or even want to try to understand what the
needs are.
I: Um-hmm.
L: I have had a few that I've asked them some things, or asked some
things, and they wouldn't even consider--wouldn't even talk about
it with me.
I: Have you appeared for many county...before any county commissioner


LUM 81A 15
meetings?
L: Yes. Two.
I: It's been brought to my attention that you see a need for voting
machines in this county. Could you tell me a little bit about
why you feel this way?
L: Yes. We have, like I said, just about thirty-f-ve registered
voters. At some of the larger polls, they work...they go to the
polls at six in the morning and work till six and seven the next
morning. And that's not fair to ask someone to work at a poll1
and they have to work those long hours--although we workrom here,
but still it would cut the hours down greatly, and it would cut
the precinct help down tremendously, and it would...eventually
they would pay for theirselves, for the machines. I took it
before the county commissioners. My board members approved it,
and it was took before the county commissioners. I have one
commissioner that won't even look at the machine--I have one
here in my office for demonstration. And when the commissioners,
they have --. ----- ----- and when the commissioners
asked to maybe tour the plantij \ \ tltaot and make
a decision on it. Well, when the day come to go to (Marion?)
I had two commissioners, the county manager, and myself and the
other girl that works in here to go. .Those are all the county
that went. And it'd been completely dropped.
I: How much monies would this cost the county?
L: A voting machine costs around twen-one-hundre&ddollars. And it's
a Printo-matic. It gives you the totals and so forth, wie-e ___ '


LUM 81A 16
\, '*~ ,.- on a sheet. And it would cost the county...we would
need eighty-four machines in the county, which would cost close
v /f2, ooo.
to a-hundaed-eiatrtight-twti-ntusdol rrs.
I: But would the county have to pay for this at one time, or...?
L: No. They could pay over a twenty-year period.
I: Over a period of twenty years. What are some of the objections
that you hear concerning voting machines for Robeson County?
L: I have quite a few A.'- "'Well, I don't believe the people
are ready for voting machines; I don't believe they could under-
stand how to vote on them"--but they're really so simple. If the
people would just take one look at the machine, I feel sure that
they are simpler than a paper ballot.
I: Do you feel like the voting machine would help minority participating
in voting or hinder it?
L: I think it would help it.
I: Do you think the uneducated person could learn to vote on the
machine? How would you go about educating people to use the
voting machine?
L: Yes, an uneducated person could be taught how to vote on a voting
machine. And if we purchase voting machines, they could be set
up in the county prior to an election, and we could put someone
at each precinct to teach the people how to use the wef-;icgmachine.
And also, an uneducated person, if they go to a precinct now to
vote, they can ask for assistance and be assisted. They can
also do the same with a voting machine.
I: How has the community response been?


LUM 81A 17
L: I've had quite a few people in from the outside, and everyone
that has seen the machine has liked it.
I: Um-hmm. What about minority peoples who have come in to see
the machine?
L: Yes. They've...
I: They've liked it?
L: Yes, they've liked it.
I: They've liked it. Do you think that...now, the main opposition
to the voting machine has come from your minority county commis-.
sioners, has it not?
L: Right.
I: Do you feel like the minority people who have been ia here, it
wasAlack of not knowing exactly what to expect, and the minority
person's fear of a machine in general?
L: Right, I think that's been the whole problem. Because once the
m r Ad<d .I ?x a rboi.tY f t X
minority have seen it, they really, you know, they thought
thought it would be difficult to operate, .- thought our people
\\ 'TV<A'~
couldn't operate it end once they've seen how simple it was,
I think they'd realize that our people, the minority people, or
uneducated people could operate it.
I: So, right now the matter has just sort of been pushed aside by
the...
L: Right.
I: ...County Board of Commissioners.
L: Right.
I: Where does the Robeson County stand in relation to the state of
North Carolina as far as number of registrations?


LUM 81A 18
L: I believe we're ninth from the top.
I: Ninth in the state?
L: Uh-huh. [affirmative]
I: So, something...is it then your opinion that if voting machines
are not bought for the county that perhaps some precincts will
need to be split?
L: Yes, they would.
I: I know over at Pembroke where I'm registrar, in the last election
we got to the polls around five-thirty, and we were there until
seven *^.-- the following morning, which was an awful long time to
work and a registrar receives...
L: Twenty-five dollars...
I: A day, but it doesn't go into that second day, does it?
L: No-;I feel sure, I think it should, because you work all day and
all night. You're not able to go to another job the next morning
and work all day there, so actually you're losing two days' work.
I: Right, that's true. And then voting machines definitely would
cut down on the number of counters, would they not?
L: Right. In thirty or thirty-five minutes after the polls closed,
you could have your returns in, and go home and fix your supper
or eat supper and.go to bed.
I: Uh-huh, and then it would definitely cut down 2I -Lffi7the
registrar'd have to hire people to help count the paper ballots.
L: Right, you wouldn't have to hire counters. And also, on some
of the polls you could cut down on the assistance at the polls.
Some of the polls are small, and just your registrar and the
two judges--that would be all you would need.


LUM 81A 19
I: What is the largest precinct in the county?
L: I think Pembroke is the largest.
I: And which precinct would be the smallest?
L: I believe it would be Smyrna, or -- : one of
those.
I: In minority registration, what has been the process to increase
the minority registrants in Robeson County? Do you think the
commission registrars had anything to do with this?
L: Yes. The registration commissioners are doing a great job in
registering the minorities. AtS, P rcjo' Brenda Brooks,
she did a tremendous job last year, last spring, registering.
up \ ji. "Wf-
She got, I'm sure, thousands.
I: Right. What...define a commission registrar for us.
L: A registration commissioner can go anyplace in the county and
register anyone, and if they're needed or called upon, they '--
?
.... p(people like for'em to go.)
I: Uh-huh. How many commission registrars do you now have?
L: I think we have fourteen.
I: And what are their races?
L: Uh, we have five Indians and five blacks, and the other ones
are white.
I: Um-hmm.
L: Four white.
I: Have you gotten more response out of the minority registrars than
ou/--of the white?


LUM 81A 20
L: Yes.
I: How is a person chosen for this particular job?
L: Well, they are recommended from someone within the community...
well, someone that's in need, they see a need for someone in their
community or to register their people. There are...
I: Then it has to be approved by whom?
L: Yeah, the county board has to approve the person. They have to
approve the person. The County Board of Elections .-- ..
.. the .person, 4-
_-__----_--_ -the person, .....
I: Then the person has to be sworn in?
L: Yes. If there's a........
I: I know that prior to 1971, there had been no minority commission
registrars in Robeson County, and there'4 really a battle at one
of the Board of Elections meetings concerning am TurnerS
, do you know anything about that?
L: No, that was prior to my coming here. oL ac' \Ao,
I: Joyce, how have you been received by county residents and county
officials since you started work here?
L: Well, I feel like the county--well, I'll say the whites in the
county, 'cause it's true--has turned up their nose, and I've had
a hard time winning them over. I feel like after this last
election in November, they were more with me than they were before,
because they just didn't feel like a minority could handle the
job.
I: So I guess it's really been...
L: It's really been a struggle for me. I've had quite a bit of


LUM 81A 21
controversy and so on since I've been here.
I: I think it, uh...then I think the situation was perhaps where
they expected more out of you than they would have.
L: Right. They always expect more than they would from one of
their own.
I: I remember some time ago something come out in the paper, some-
thing about the hours you were working, or something like this.
L: Yes. The lady that was here _____ was white, and she worked
from nine to five. And when it was brought up, someone reported
me to the commissioners, and Mr. Graham said I knew what my hours
were, from eight-thirty until five, and it was published in the
paper. Well, I didn't know anything about the office hours. I
worked from nine to five, that's what Miss told me
my office hours would be. And so Mr. Graham...
I: And who is Mr. Graham?
L: He is the county manager. So, since then, I've been coming to
work at eight-thirty.
I: Do you get compensatory time for the time you have to spend on
an election?
L: I didn't before, but since then, if he wants to be that way, I
can, too. So I turn it in.
I: So prior to the controversy over what hours you work, you did
not turn in overtime for elections?
L: No.
I: But now you are.
L: Yes.


LUM 81A 22
I: Well, I certainly don't blame you for that. What about the
people down at the courthouse? Do you feel like things are
becoming better than what they were when you first started to
working here?
L: Yes, I do. When I first started working, I could walk in--
if there'd be talking, looked like they would, you know, just
shut up, and it made me feel like they were talking about me.
I: Uh--huh.
L: And they begin/itaking me in their conversations, and talking
with me.
I: What about whites who come in to register?
L: I have had quite a few whites to come in to register, and they
all seem to accept me.
I: Um-hmm.
L: Most of'em has been living out of state and moved here from
where they only know two races, and most of them has accepted
me o> \ ; A:i l ^ i < '- "' i'. t\ 'C~.- V -
I: What about .H 'registrars and judges?
L: Yes, at the beginning...well, I've had one registrar to quit, he
was white. And in the beginning, I've had some to tell me since
the primary that they had thought about quitting because of what
I was. But after they seen that I could do the job and that I
was easy to get along with, I've had quite a few to commend me
on the job I was doing, and tell me how good it was to be working
with me.


LUM 81A 23
I: You said one quit.
L: Yes.
I: Do you have any knowledge as to why?
L: Yes, because of the board, the three races on the boardjand
myself.
I: Because of the changeover.
L: The changeover.
I: Did he tell you why he was quitting?
L: Yes, he did.
I: How do you answer a person like that, Joyce?
L: Well, I just said if that's the way you feel. If you feel that
way, it's better that you do quit instead of pretending, and, you
know, trying to work. Because you will never be satisfied
working as a registrar and my giving instructions and so forth
to you.
I: Uh-huh.
L: You wouldn't be content.
I: I think minority people feel a lot freer about coming down here
because minority peopleAmade to feel in the past that this was a
place where they didn't tread. Or have you heard stories as to
this effect?
L: Yes, I have. And I do feel like it's true. Before, there were
only white in here, and I have seen times that the minority people
did come in and they were kind of spoken to harshlwhen I first
came here to work. But I try to make anyone, any person, that


LUM 81A 24
walks in my door, I try to make him feel at home and comfortable.
And I try to treat him as I would like to be treated.
I: Hmm. I think you've done a spendid job as far as that. Joyce,
what about your physical facilities here? Do you feel like
they're adequate, or...?
L: No.
I: You don't. Tell me a little bit why. You see, a person listening
at the tape can't tell exactly where we're sitting and what it's
like, so...
L: Well...
I: ...tell me a little bit about what your offices are like here.
L: We're down in a basement. We have cement floors, plain cement
floors with nothing on them. Cement walls, just like a basement.
And we don't have any...well, there's some windows, half-windows--
you can't see out of them. And we have the heat pipes upstairs
_,,_, S.__ down here......... We have the sewage pipes over
there. We have many pipes running over our heads. And in the
winter time when they heat upstairs, Lt's so hot in here, you
just...I guess it's about ninety downstairs. The pipes from
upstairs, like I said, are over our heads.
I: And they're exposed, are they not?
L: Right, they are exposed.
I: What other offices are down in the basement?
L: An inspection building, the builders' inspector, electrical
inspector, civil defense, and a fire marshall's office. Civil


LUM 81A 25
defense and the fire marshall's office do ltan. *4-li ) t
_ 7Ik ~oiv floors when we don't.
I: Uh-huh.
L: And our office is very small. We don't have enough room.
I: How many rooms do you have?
L: We have two little small rooms.
I: Um-hmm.
L: And I don't have really enough filing space. We have two old
metal cabinets to keep all our materials in, and that's about
all we have.
I: What about your board of elections meetings? Do you hold them
down... dc-your-ave to hold them here?
L: We hold them here.
I: What about county residents who would like to sit in on your
meetings? Is there enough space?
L: Well, if I know ahead of time that we will have quite a few
people coming in, I try to reserve the auditorium upstairs.
I: What's the name of the building that your office is in?
L: It's the old agriculture building. I guess it's one of the
oldest buildings in the county.
I: Do you have adequate space for keeping your election ballots
prior to an election?
L: No.
I: What do you do, then, Joyce?
L: Well, when we divide them out and put them in boxes for each
precinct, we usually have to walk over them. And I have stepped


LUM 81A 26
over them and even stepped on them many a times to get to what
I needed.
I: Uh-huh.
L: Because there's no place to put them.
I: I notice that you have ballot boxes and things stored in the
hallway out there.
L: Right. We have ballot boxes and booths stored in the hall.
I: And there's no facilities, storage facilities as such?
L: No.
I: These ballot boxes, are they for the city elections?
L: Yes, uh-huh.
I: Well, Mrs. Locklear, it's been nice talking with you. Can you
tell me, though, what you foresee that the County Board of Elections'
main responsibility to the minority people will be in the future?
What needs to be done in order to increase minority representation
here at the Board of Elections?
L: Uh, more minority registration, more minority civic education, and
more minority --- in office.
I: Do you have any class groups that come by to visit the County
Board of Elections?
L: No.
I: Well this, then, would be a need in the counties, to let children
see just what takes place in here prior to an election.
L: Right.
I: Well, it's been nice talking to you, Mrs. Locklear. Thank you
a lot.


Full Text
sgm normalized



PAGE 1

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT Interviewee: Joyce Ann Locklear Interviewer: Janie M. Locklear Date: May 30, 1973

PAGE 2

J: This is May 30, 1973 and I am at Lumberton, North Carolina at the County Board of Elections talking with the executive secretary, Mrs. Joyce Locklear. This is the American Indian Oral Histories Program with the Doris Duke Foundation under the auspices of the University of Florida. This is Janie Maynor Locklear. Joyce, tell me a little bit about yourself. When is your birthday? How old are you? L: Oh God, I am thirty-one. I was born February 21, 1942. J: What community did you grow up in as a child? L: Back Swamp. J: Did you stay there all during your childhood, or did your family move at any time? L: No, I moved around during my childhood. J: Where is Back swamp? What town is it near in Robeson? L: Rowland, between Pembroke and Rowland. J: Where did you attend school, Joyce? L: Pembroke, Dee French Elementary. When I left I went to Pembroke High. J: What year did you finish at Pembroke High School? L: 1960. J: Then what did you do upon graduating from high school? L: I went to Washington, D.C., and stayed about six months. I worked in the bookkeeping department for a large company. Then I left and came home. I worked with F.T. Yates in Pembroke. I left there and went to Charlotte and worked a while and then I came back home and went back to work for F.T. Yates in Pembroke. Then I got married and I have worked in several different places since then. J: Did you work at Pembroke State University? L: Yes, I worked there at Pembroke State University for two and a half years. J: That was immediately prior to coming here? 1

PAGE 3

L: Yes. Before then, I worked at B. F. Goodrich Footwear Company as personnel clerk for over three years. J: Who were your parents? L: My father is James Smith. He is from Columbus county and my mother was Thelma Brown and she was raised here in Robeson County. There are five children in my family. J: What are their names? L: I have one brother, James Rufus. I have three sisters: Thelma, Jo Ann, and Ruby. J: What is your brother doing now? L: My brother works up in a plant near Maxton. Just what his job is, I could not tell you. J: What about the girls? L: I have one sister who works at the Converse Footwear plant. I have one sister, Jo Ann, who is the clerk of the Court's Office here in Robeson County at Lumberton. My sister Ruby works as assistant bookkeeper at Pembroke State University. J: After you completed high school, did you take any further secretarial training? L: No. J: Did you take business courses while you were in high school? L: I took business courses while I was in high school. J: When you were growing up as a child, what did your father do? L: My father was a farmer. We had a small farm--he owned his farm. J: So, as a child you learned to work on the farm. What crops did you grow? L: We had tobacco, cotton, and corn. J: Has that changed, or does your father still work at it? L: No, my father has rented his farm out. He is not able to work it anymore. 2

PAGE 4

J: You mentioned that you left home a couple of times and then decided that you wanted to come back. Tell us why. L: Well, there is no place like home, I guess. J: Did you just have a desire to come back to Pembroke? Did you get homesick, or were you unsatisfied with what you were doing when you were away? L: No, I kind of liked it away, but at that time I was dating my husband (the man I am married to now), so that decided it. That is the reason I really I came home. J: Who is your husband? What is his name? L: Ambrose Locklear Jr. J: And what does he do? L: He is an inspector in the Columbus County Health Department. J: Do you have any children? L: Yes, I have on little girl. J: What is her name and how old is she? L: Robbie Renee, and she will be three July seventh. J: Where does she stay every day while you are working? L: She stays with my neighbor, Betty Hayes. J: She stays at home with her? L: She stays right close by my house--this lady she stays with each day. J: We mentioned that you worked at Pembroke state University for a couple of years. What did you do there? L: I was the departmental secretary in the Biology Department. J: When did you come to work at the County Board of Elections? L: April 10, 1972. J: So, you have been here a little over a year now. L: Yes. J: What enticed you to choose this as a profession? 3

PAGE 5

L: Well, I knew one of the Indians in the county had never held a job as executive secretary nor had there been any Indians working in this office and thought it would be good to make a change for the county. J: So the executive secretary that had been here, what is her name? L: Miss Lucy Benning. J: Do you know how long she worked here? L: Fourteen years. J: She was here fourteen years, and she has resigned? L: That is right. J: Was her resignation prompted by a change in the Board of Elections? L: Yes, I think so. J: Tell me a little bit about your Board of Elections here in Robeson County. L: Well, on the County Board, I have three board members. We have a black, and Indian, and a white. J: What are their names? L: The black is Mr. Washington Hawkins. The white is Mr. Joseph c. Ward, and the Indian is Mr. John Robert Jones. J: Who is chairman of the Board of Elections? L: Mr. Jones. J: Was this the first Board of Elections that was made up of people from all three races in Robeson? L: Yes. J: So, in 1972, this whole office sort of made a drastic change, did it not? L: A change, right. J: There was a little bit of controversy concerning the chairman of the Board of Elections back in the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about that? 4

PAGE 6

L: Well, I think Mr. Jones--a motion was made for him to be chairman of the board. He is a Republican and an Indian. Mr. Hawkins seconded the motion before he thought about it, then he wanted to take it back. It was too late then. So the State Board decided he would be chairman of the board. J: How long a period was there in which Mr. Ward was appointed? L: As acting chairman? J: As acting chairman. How long did he serve in that capacity before here was a ruling from the State Board of Elections? L: Until about the first of May. I believe about May the fourth. J: That was a little bit before the primaries? L: From March until the beginning of May. J: So, there was a ruling from the State Board of Elections and also the Attorney General's office? L: Right. J: Mr. Jones was elected chairman? L: Right. J: How long will this present board serve? L: They will serve for two years. J: Two year terms. After this board took their seats, was there not a drastic change in the precinct holders? L: Yes. They have put more Indians and coloreds as precinct officials and in each precinct. In most precincts all of them were white until this time. J: Are there any precincts where they are predominantly Indian or predominantly black but do not have Indian or black representation? L: No. There were, but now I think they have. J: But now, you think that there are representations in all of them. L: Right. 5

PAGE 7

J: Can you tell me when you came to work here, how many Indians and blacks were precinct officials? L: Twenty-one, I think. J: Now the figure is? L: I believe we have sixty-some appointed now. J: so, there is a drastic change in the minority representations as election officials. I guess when you came to work here you had a lot of catching up to do, did you not? L: Quite a bit. The office was really behind. There had been quite a few, I think, close to 3-4,000 new registrations. They were just beginning to start working on them and had an election May 6. So, we just about worked day and night to get the work done in order to carry out our elections. J: Do you have any permanent help? L: Yes, I have one full-time clerk. Until I came here, there was no full-time help. She had three ladies that were working on a part-time basis just about year-around and now I have the one full-time clerk. That is all the help I need. J: What race is she? L: She is an Indian. J: Prior to an election, does it necessitate engaging some part-time help? L: Yes. J: In the past general election, how many employees did you hire? L: I hired three part-time helpers. J: What were their races? L: One was black, one was white, and one was Indian. J: Now, Mrs. Locklear, who has the authority to hire employees? Is this done by the Board of Elections? L: Well, full-time employees would have to be approved by my Board here, and then the County Commissioners would have to 6

PAGE 8

approve it. But part-time help--I can hire any part-time help and as much part-time help as needed. J: Do they have an hourly wage, or pay by the day? L: They are paid by the hour. J: What about your permanent help? L: She is paid on a monthly basis. J: Mrs. Locklear, you mentioned that there were many new registrations back in the spring of 1972 when you came to work here. Can you give me a little bit of information about how the registration has increased since you were here, by race? L: Yes. I think the Indians, I guess, there have been about 3,000 new ones registered. And the blacks have greatly increased. I would guess that there have been close to a couple of thousand blacks, and a few hundred whites. But it has increased. There were 31,000 registered voters when I came here. We have 39,000 now. Most of those have been blacks and Indians. J: So the total registration for the county is what? L: Close to 39,000. J: Do you feel like this is the bulk of the minority registration, or do you see a need for more to be done? How do you think we are averaging as far as that concerned? L: Well, I would like to see everybody from all three races registered. But, what I think really needs to be done in the county is teach people the importance of voting. We have so many that register and never vote. I think a great need would be to have some sort of classes or information or some thing set-up to teach people the importance of voting. J: Some type of civic education? L: Yes. J: How many voted in the last general election? L: I do not know right off hand. J: Right around 1200. L: That is fifty percent participation. 7

PAGE 9

J: Well, have you had funds for this type of civic education to go into the schools and to the community groups to work on this type of thing? L: No, we have not had any. J: Have you requested any? L: Well, we have it in our budget for this year, but, I do not know if the commissioners will approve it or not. J: So, you have civic education funds. L: Right. J: What does your budget run for the coming year? L: I believe it is $61,000. J: Have you found a difference in salaries? The salary that you receive and the salary that the white who was former Board of Elections secretary received when she was here? L: Well, the former secretary was making about $5,500 and I am making $5,000. J: So, there is a difference. Of course, she had fourteen years experience. L: Right. J: With the rate of inflation and the tremendous job that you do, I feel that you are underpaid. Do you feel the same way? L: Yes, I know I am. I have a lot more responsibilities now than she had. I have all the term elections, municipal elections to do and she did not. J: Oh, then this is the new state law? L: Yes. J: When did this take effect? L: January 1st. J: Have you done any municipal elections yet? L: Yes, I have done school board and three special elections. I have the municipal elections to take place for the towns 8

PAGE 10

in November. I believe I got eleven towns in the county to conduct their elections. J: so, this is really going to be a tremendous task for this office. L: It will. That is right, to have to prepare for each town and get each town's ballot written up. J: Tell me a little bit about your procedure in elections. How do you begin with the process of getting ready for an election? L: Well, first we have to process all our new registration forms and get those in books. I write up and type the instructions for the registrars and judges. J: What about ballots? What is the procedure? L: I have to make up the ballot and let the chairman of the board sign it. My chairman has to proof it and sign the ballot. So far, they have always been right. I have to get it printed. If it is a county-wide election, I have to count out by hand, how many ballots for each precinct. Plus you give them one hundred percent plus five percent. A hundred and five percent, that is what each precinct gets. J: That is the number of ballots? L: Yes. J: I see. Then you usually have some type of training for your precinct officials? L: Yes. I always have them meet before an election. I always have a training course, and go over the instructions to the registrar and the judges from each precinct. J: Do they get reimbursed for this activity? L: Yes, they get paid for their knowledge, plus for a day's work. J: You mentioned that you were going to be in charge of the city election from now on, and that would include the city Boards of Education? L: Right. J: A delegation met with you and your Board of Trustees and talked to you about a problem that they had seen which would 9

PAGE 11

come up in the next election. Could you explain that a little bit to me? L: Well, the problem we have is the different school districts in the county, the city school boards--! believe there are five school boards in the county that do not run precinct wise or any inside the city limits, out in the county. I have to determine whether or not the people live inside the city school and mark it on the books. So, I will know how many ballots to have printed and how many ballots to give each precinct. Well, who votes in the city school districts and who votes in the county. J: This is really going to be a complicated test because it has never been done before. Previously, though the cities have handled their own elections, have they not? L: Right. J: Do you receive their registration? They have their own set of registration books, do they not? L: Well, some of them used our registration books, but they took care of making up their own ballots. They marked in the book, I guess, whoever gave in the school district. J: So you have found some discrepancies about these people who decide they want the city administration. L: Right. J: How do you anticipate rectifying this situation? L: Well, I guess I might have to hire additional help and go out to the school districts to the boundary lines and from there back to the city limits to find out who lives inside the school district and who does not. J: You have already done this for one city election. Which one was that? L: st. Paul's. J: What kind of task did you find before you there? L: It is difficult. J: Very difficult. Did you do this by yourself or did you have help? 10

PAGE 12

L: There were several precincts involved in this school board and I had my precinct officials, the registrar in each precinct, help me. J: How many days did it take? L: Just about a week. J: How many miles did you travel? L: I guess, about 400 and some. J: So, this is going to have to be done by when? L: Well, before November 6, it will have to be done. The ballots are supposed to be cleaned up about thirty days ahead of time. So, I have got till about the middle of August, before I can start counting each district to find out how many ballots I will need printed for each district. J: Are you going to seek additional funds to do this? L: I am asking for them, yes. $7500 for this. So, I will some precinct officials who help me. I am asking for an additional be able to hire if I can get are familiar with the people to J: Right. Make your task a lot easier if you had some one who was familiar with the geographical area also. What kind of cooperation have you found from our county Board of Commissioners? L: Well, sometimes they seem to cooperate and then again they do not seem to understand or even want to try to understand what the needs are. I have had a few that I have asked some things of and they would not even talk about it with me. J: Have you appeared before any county commissioner meetings? L: Yes, two. J: It has been brought to my attention that you see a need for voting machines in this county. Could you tell me a little bit about why you feel this way? L: Yes. We have just about 30,000 registered voters. At some of the larger polls, they go to the polls at six in the morning and work until six or seven the next morning. That is not fair to ask someone to work at a poll and to work such long hours--although we work them here. Still it would cut the hours down greatly and it would cut the precinct 11

PAGE 13

help down tremendously. Eventually, they would pay for themselves, the machines. I took it before the county commissioners. My board members approved it and it was taken before the county commissioners. I have one here in my office for demonstration. The commissioners asked to tour the plant in Marion and make a decision on it. When the day came to go to Marion I had two commissioners, the county manager, the other girl that works here, and myself. That is all of the county people that went. It has been completely dropped. J: How much money would this cost the county? L: A voting machine costs around $2,100. It is a Printo-matic. It gives you the totals right then and there on a sheet. We would need eighty-four machines, which would cost close to $162,000. J: Would the county have to pay for this at one time? L: No. They could pay over a twenty-year period. J: What are some of the objections that you hear concerning voting machines for Robeson County? L: I have quite a few people tell me, "Well, I do not believe the people are ready for voting machines; I do not believe they could understand how to vote on them." But they are so simple. If the people would just take one look at the machine, I feel sure that they are simpler than a paper ballot. J: Do you feel like the voting machine would help minority participation in voting or hinder it? L: I think it would help. J: Do you think the uneducated person could learn to vote on the machine? How would you go about educating people to use the voting machine? L: Yes, an uneducated person could be taught how to vote on a voting machine. If we purchase voting machines they could be set up in the county prior to an election and we could put someone at each precinct to teach people how to use the machine. Also, an uneducated person, if they go to a precinct to vote now, can ask for assistance and receive it. They can do the same with a voting machine. J: Right. How has the community response been? 12

PAGE 14

L: I have had quite a few people from the outside--everyone that has seen the machine has liked it. J: What about minority people who have come in to see the machine? L: Yes, they have liked it. J: Do you think that the main opposition to the voting machine has come from your minority county commissioners? L: Right. J: Do you feel like the minority people who have been here did not know what to expect; that there was a fear of the machine in general? L: Right. I think that has been the whole problem. Because once the minorities have seen it, they really talk about it, "I thought it would be difficult to operate. I thought our people could not operate it." Then once they have seen how simple it is they realize that our people, minority people, can operate it. J: So, right now the matter has just sort of been pushed aside? L: Right. J: Where does the Robeson County stand in relation to the state of North Carolina as far as number of registrations? L: I believe were are ninth from the top. J: Ninth in the state? L: Yes. J: So, it is your opinion that if voting machines are not bought for the county that perhaps some precincts will need to be split? L: Yes, they would. J: I know over at Pembroke precinct, where I am registrar, in the last election we got to the polls around five-thirty, and we were there until seven the following morning. Which was an awful long time to work. And a registrar receives only twenty-five dollars a day. But it does not go into that second day, does it? L: No, I feel sure; I think it should, because you work all day and all night. You are not able to go to another job the 13

PAGE 15

next morning. You work all day there, so actually, you are losing two days' work. J: That is true. Then voting machines definitely would cut down on the number of counters, would they not? L: Right. In thirty or thirty-five minutes after the polls closed, you could have your returns in. You could go home and fix your supper and go to bed. J: Then it would definitely cut down the amount of people the registrar would have to hire to help count the paper ballots. L: You would not have to hire counters. Also, on some of the polls you could cut down on the assistance at the polls. Some of the polls are small--just your registrar and the two judges are all you would need. J: What is the largest precinct in the county? L: I think Pembroke is the largest. J: Which precinct would be the smallest? L: I believe it would be Smyrna. J: In minority registration, what has been the process to increase the minority registrants in Robeson County? Do you think the commission registrars had anything to do with this? L: Yes. The registration commissioners are doing a great job in registering the minorities. Ms. Brenda Brooks did a tremendous job last year. I am sure she got thousands. J: Define a commission registrar for us. L: A registration commissioner can go anyplace in the county and register anyone. J: How many commission registrars do you now have? L: I think we have fourteen. J: What are their races? L: We have five Indians, five blacks and the others are white. J: Have you gotten more response out of the minority registrars than you have the whites? 14

PAGE 16

L: Yes. J: How is a person chosen for this particular job? L: Well, they are recommended from someone within the community. Someone that sees a need to have a registrar in the community recommends them. J: Then it has to be approved by whom? L: The county board has to approve the person. J: Then the person has to be sworn in? L: Yes. J: I know that prior to 1971, there had been no minority commission registrars in Robeson County, and there was really a battle at one of the Board of Elections meetings concerning Sam Turner. Do you know anything about that? L: No, that was prior to my coming here. J: Joyce, how have you been received by county residents and county officials since you started work here? L: Well, I feel like the county--well, I will say the whites in the county, because it is true--have turned up their nose. I have had a hard time winning them over. I feel like after this last election in November, they were more with me than they were before. Because they just did not feel like a minority could handle the job. It has really been a struggle for me. I have had quite a bit of controversy since I have been here. J: I think the situation was perhaps where they expected more out of you than they would have. L: Right. They always expect more than they would from one of their own. J: I remember some time ago something come out in the paper, something about the hours you were working, or something like this. L: Yes. The lady that was here was white and she worked from nine to five. When it was brought up, someone reported me to the commissioners. Mr. Graham said I knew that my hours were from eight-thirty to five. It was published in the paper. Well, I did not know anything about the office hours. I worked from nine to five, that is what Miss Gray had informed me my office hours would be. 15

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J: Who is Mr. Graham? L: He is the county manager. So, since then I have been coming to work at eight-thirty. J: Do you get compensatory time for the time you have to spend on an election? L: I did not before, but since then, if he wants to be that way, I can too. So I turn it in. J: so, prior to the controversy over what hours you work, you did not turn in overtime for the elections? L: No. J: But you are now? L: Yes. J: Well, I certainly do not blame people down at the courthouse? becoming better than what they to working here? you for that. What about the Do you feel like things are were when you first started L: Yes, I do. When I first started working, I could walk inif there would be talking, they would just shut up and it made me feel like they were talking about me. They began casually taking me into their conversations, and talking with me. J: What about whites who come in to register? L: I have had quite a few whites come in to register and they seem to accept me. Most of them have been living out of state and moved here from where they only know two races. Most of them have accepted me without question. J: What about your registrars and judges? L: Well, I have had one registrar quit. He was white. In the beginning, I have had some tell me since the primary that they had thought about quitting because of what I was. But after they saw that I could do the job and that I was easy to get along with, I have had quite a few commend me on the job I was doing and tell me how good it was to be working with me. J: You said one quit L: Yes. 16

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J: Do you have any knowledge as to why? L: Yes, because the three races on the board and myself. J: Because of the changeover? L: The changeover. J: Did he tell you why he was quitting? L: Yes, he did. J: How do you answer a person like that, Joyce? L: Well, I just said, "If you feel that way it is better that you do quit instead of pretending and trying to work. Because you will never be satisfied working as a registrar and my giving instructions to you. You would not be content." J: I think minority people feel a lot freer about coming down here because minority people were made to feel in the past that this was a place where they did not tread. or have you heard stories as to this effect? L: Yes, I have. I do feel like it is true. Before, there were only white in here, and I have seen times that the minority people did come in and they were kind of spoken to harshly when I first came here to work. But I try to make anyone that walks in my door feel at home and comfortable. I try to treat him as I would like to be treated. J: I think you have done a splendid job as far as that. What about your physical facilities here? Do you feel like they are adequate? L: No. J: Tell me a little bit why. Tell me what your office is like. L: We are down in a basement. We have cement floors, plain cement floors with nothing on them; cement walls, just like a basement. There are half windows, you cannot see out of them. We have the heat pipes for upstairs, running down here. We have the sewage pipes over there. We have many pipes overhead. In the winter time when they heat the upstairs, it is so hot in here. It is about ninety downstairs. J: The pipes are exposed? 17

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L: Yes they are. J: What other offices are down in the basement? L: The building inspector, electrical inspector, civil defense, and a fire marshall's office. Civil defense and the fire marshall's office do have tile on their floors, but we do not. Our office is very small. We do not have enough room. J: How many rooms do you have? L: We have two small rooms. I do not have enough filing space. We have two old metal cabinets to keep all of our materials in and that is about it. J: What about your board of elections meetings? Do you hold them here? L: We hold them here. J: What about county residents who would like to sit in on your meetings? Is there enough space? L: Well, if I know ahead of time that we will have quite a few people coming in, I try to reserve the auditorium upstairs. J: What is the name of the building that your office is in? L: It is the old agriculture building. I guess it is one of the oldest buildings in the county. J: Do you have adequate space for keeping your election ballots prior to an election? L: No. J: What do you do then, Joyce? L: Well, when we divide them and put them in boxes for each precinct, we usually have to walk over them. I have stepped over them, and even stepped on them to get what I needed. J: I notice that you have ballot boxes and things stored in the hallway out there. L: Right. We have ballot boxes and booths stored in the hall. J: And there is no storage facility, as such? L: No. J: These ballot boxes, are they for city elections? 18

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L: Yes. J: Well, Mrs. Locklear, can you tell me what you foresee as the County Board of Elections' main responsibility to the minority people in the future? What needs to be done in order to increase minority representation here at the Board of Elections? L: More minority registration, more minority civic education, and more minorities in office. J: Do you have any class groups that come by to visit the County Board of Elections? L: No. J: Well, this would be a need in the county, to let children see just what takes place in here prior to an election. L: Right. J: Well, it has been nice talking to you, Mrs. Locklear. Thank you a lot. 19

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LUM 81A Mrs. Joyce Ann Locklear (L) Lumberton, North Carolina Interviewer: Janie M. Locklear (I) May 30, 1973 Typed by: Paula Williams . I: ___ May 30, 1973. I'm at Lumberton, North Carolina, at the County Board of Elections talking with the executive secretary, Mrs. Joyce Locklear. This is the ~rican Indian Oral Histories Program with the Doris Duke Foundation under the auspices of the University of Florida. This is Janie Maynor Locklear. Joyce, tell me a little bit about your self. How many, uh when is your birthday? How old are you? L: Oh, God. I'm thirty-one. I was born February 21 of/142. I: What community did you grow up in as a child? L: ~~~~l/i_ Swamp. I: Back Swamp. Did you stay there all during your childhood, or did yourL: No, I moved around during my childhood. I: Where is Back Swamp? What town is it near in Robeson? L: Rowland. Between Pembroke and Rowland. I: Between Pembroke and Rowland. Where did you attend school, Joyce? L: Pembroke, um... bn r fl/\ ( k. Elementary, and when I left;, I went to Pembroke High. I: And what year did you finish at Pembroke Hight x/()/ I 6 L: '60. I: '60. Then what did you do upon graduating from high school? L: I went to Washington, D.C., and stayed about six months, I guess~ I / ' /. /. . . / ' ..1. ~/( ""T: to11/, '. / . ..J./4 . , ,i'., {l..:,;,:?17/t,ir.., ,_,., __ :?.v.er fl\/ 1 J(!, einpa,~y;n.:m~ for a large company. And Ii I left, I came

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LUM 81A 2 home and stayed a while, worked with F. T. fJ;i/J:/J)in Pembroke. And J ) I left there and~went to Charlotte and worked a while, and then I came. back home and went back to work at f,L Then I got married 1 and I've worked in several different places since then. I: Did you work at Pembroke State University? L: Yes, I worked there at Pembroke State University for two and a half years. I: That was innnediately prior to coming here? L: Yes, uh-huh. And before then I worked over at B. F. Goodrich Footwear Company as personnel clerk for over three years. I: Joyce, what size family who were your parents? L: My father is James Smith. He is from Columbus County, and my mother was Thelma Brown and she was ,' ":,.e.,,.( the county, Robeson County. There was five children in my family. I: And what were their names, Joyce? L: I have one brother, ,\,, ._., "'"'P r,, I have three sisters--Thelma,. Jo Ann, and Ruby. I: And what is your brother doing now? L: My brother works up in a plant up near Maxton. Just what his job is, I couldn't tell you. I: And what about the girls? L: I have one sister who works at Convers~ fpotwear Plant. And I have j,,J /.r., _ .: or /r:1,:J__ {)Cf ,., '7 rf,> , ; ,Ar, L, \., t l. "'one sister, Jo Ann works at SouttreA, cPttr here in Robeson County,. at Lumberton. I, 11 1,-, f And my sister Ruby works as assistant boDK~,,e . over at Pembroke State University. I: After you completed high school, did you take any further secretarial training?

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LUM 81A L: No. I: or did you take business courses while you were in high school? L: I took business courses while I was in high school. til-6 cb lJ.-~ I: When you were growing up a.•t:he .e.:i.me-, what did your father do? L: My father was a farmer. We had a small farm--he o~ his own farm. I: And does he still live there? L: Yes. I: So, as a child you learned to work on the farm. What crops did you grow? L: We had tobacco, cotton, corn. I: Has that changed? Or does your father still work it? L: No, my father has rented his farm out. He's not able to work it anymore. I: You mentioned that you left home a couple of times and then decided that you wanted to come back. Tell us why. L: Well, there's no place that's home, I guess. I: Did you just have a desire to come back to Pembroke? Did you get \1) V t \!, OlA.. homesick, or~unsatisfied with what you were doing when you were away, or ? 3 L: No, I kind of liked it away, but at that time I was dating my husband.~. that's the reason I really came home. I: Who is your husband? What's his name? L: Ambrose Locklear, Jr. I: And what does he do? [cfiunt1:; L: He's an inspector in the,._t52..b:
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LUM 811\ I: Do you have any children? L: Yes, I have one little girl. I: What's her name and how old is she? L: Robbie Ren~e, and she'll be three July 7. I: Where does she stay every day while you're working? L: She stays with my neighbor, Betty Hayes. I: She stays at home with her? 4 L: She stays right close by my house--this lady she stays with each day. I: We mentioned that you worked at Pembroke State University for a couple of years. What did you do there? L: I was departmental secretary in the Biology Department. I: L: When did you come to work at the County Board of Elections? ot April 10 ~/~72. I: {172. So you've been here a little over a year now. L: I: Yes. 9What '2:nticed,L to want to choose this as a profession? L: '\ \: (, ll.-& ,. ( (, Well, I knew ho•,, -e. c~ l, : ' .• \ , ;', in county ~t \J\.-..\.o.i._ job in this office and thought it would be good to make a change for the county. I: So the executive secretary--what's her name that had been here? L: Miss Lucy 13-::e. \\. \'\.i Yi<: Q I: Do you know how long she worked here? L: Fourteen years. I: She was here fourteen years 1 and she resigned, right? L: That's right.

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LUM 81A I: Was her resignation prompted by a change in the Board of Elections? L: Yes, I think so. I: Tell me a little bit now about your Board of Elections here in Robeson County. 4 L: Well, on the County Board, I have three 1 Hoard members •. We have a black, an Indian, and a white. I: .And what are their names? L: The black is Mr. Washington Hawkins. The white is Mr. Joseph C. -1rf (/1/_r/,,tl __!ll;wardt~ j Jbe Indian is Mr. John Robert _Ji.Jones(L. I: .And who is chairman of the Board of Elections? L: Mr. Jones. I: Was this the first Board of Elections that was made up of people from all three races in Robeson? L: Yes, uh-huh. I: in Robeson County. So, in 1972, this whole office sort of made a drastic change, did it not? L: A change, right. 5 I: There was a little bit of controversy concerning the chairman of the Board of Elections back in the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about that? L: Well, I think Mr. Jones was ... a motion was made for him to be Chair man of the Board. He's a Republican and an Indian .And Mr. Hawkins seconded the motion before he thought about it, then he wanted to .And so the State Board take it back)and it was too late then. decided he would be Chairman of the Board. I: How long a period was there in which at that time Mr. Ward was appointed, uh .•.

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LUM 81A L: As acting chairman. I: As acting chairman. How long did he serve in that capacity before there was a 1:ea-l ,u.\ 1 ,_1 c::, ~,,oV"in the State Board of Elections? C,I L: Until about May, the first of May. I believe about May the fourth. I: That was a little bit before the primaries? L: From March, from March until the beginning of May. I: So there was a ruling from the State Board of Elections and also the Attorney General's office? L: Right. I: And Mr. Jones was elected chairman. L: Right. I: How long will this present board serve? L: /: , .. /: serve for two years. : <. I: Two year tern(After this board took their seats, was there not a L: drastic change in the precinct Yes. ~-.tA They've put more Indians ; (holders?) ? t-c\ov,.At.. as precinct officials and in 6 each precinct. In most precincts all of them were white until this time. I: Are there any precincts where they are predominantly Indian or pre dominantly black ,-,.,,.,1: don't have Indian or black representation? L: L: I: Jti[,::'. No. There ~ere, but now1:they have)...._. J. Le.. rut now you think that there are representations in all of themt~ Right. Can you tell me when you came to work here, how many Indians and blacks were precinct officials? L: Twenty-one, I think.

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LUM 81A I: L: I: :~b" And now the figure ? I believe we have sixty-some appointed now. So there is a drastic change in the minority representation 4a a:s election officials. I guess when you came to work here you had a 7 L: lot of catching up to do, did you not? ye.a..tl •+ Quite a bit. The office was wa:y behind. There had been quite a few~maybe I think close to three or C'.\ Ill cl, 1)-)-e,,rf .l-;, l) \ 'I\ l'' '' ~t!fttrt they hacljust be-guR to start four thousand:i:_newregistrations \I ' ' . \~. { V\'t\.,:t,!'( working onA andAan election May 6. So, we just about worked day and night to get the work done in order to carry out our elections. I: Do you have any permanent help? L: Yes, I have one full-time clerk. Until I came here, there was no full time help. She had three ladies that were working o~a part-time basis just about year-round, and now I have the one full-time clerk. That's all the help I needd;"' I: And what race is she? L: She's an Indian. I: Prior to an election, does it necessitate engaging some part-time help? L: Yes. I: In the past general election, how many employees did you hire? L: I hired three part-time helpers. I: And what were their races? L: One was black, one was white, and one was Indian. I: Now, Mrs. Locklear, who has the authority to hire employees? Is this done by the Board of Elections.? ,...(f { ,i L: Well, full-time employee~~have to be approved by my Board here, and then the County Commissioners would have to app~ove it. ~ut part-time

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LUM 81A help--I can hire any part-time help and as much part-time help as needed. I: Do they have an hourly wage, or pay by the day? L: They're paid by the hour. I: What .-about your permanent help? L: She's paid on a monthly basis. I: Mrs. Locklear, you mentioned that there were right many new regis trations back in the spring of/172 when you crone to work here. Can you give me a'little bit of information about how the registration \fO.C<2-• has increased since you were here, by l!'ank? 8 L: Yes. I think the Indians, I guess there have been about three thou sand new ones put on that was registered. And the blacks have greatly increased. I'd guess that there has been close to a couple of thou sand blacks, and a few hundred whites. But it has increased I guess there was thirty-one thousand registered voters when I came here. We have right at thirty-nine thousand now. I: Uh-huh. L: And as such from thirty-one to thirty-nine thousand, most of those have been blacks and Indians. I: So the total registration for the county is what? L: Right close to thirty-nine thousand. ~\. l , ., , ,:1. v .. cJ . \~' ""I.I: Right close to thirty-nine~~ Do you feel like this is the bulk of the minority registration, or do you see a.need formore to be done, or just how do you think we' re o.. \I l If,.,:. l ,, ,:, . V

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LUM 81A 9 L: Well. I see a need that--you know, I'd like to see everybody -t,jr,0 .7/; 1 I. I . .,.,,.~-~-,,, 7 -,r, .. <~,_ ,,--:-,,/ .. , ~ets-registered--but what I think really needs to be done in I: L: I: L: I: L: the county is teach people the importance of voting. We have so many that registers and never votes, and I think a great need would be ,~\{\-~ '? Yes. l , __L / -voe Vs arc> . "Tu.1,_,, i --.,people are on the ~wear;i.na.21._ / And they voted what in the last general election? I don't know,. right off hand I: Right around twelve hundred. Right around twelve hundred, so that's L: I: L: I: L: a little less than -'("~-_s''I') (f:jfil~ 1,,,percent participation. l . Right. Well, have you done much have youimuch funds for this type ti') 1"1\ \,,, of civic education, to go into the schools and t/1 community groups to work on this type thing? No, we haven't had any. Have you requested any? Well, we have it our budget for this year, but I don't know if the Jtommissioners will approve it or not. I: What, you come in here, you have L: Yes. I: a civic coordinatei, civic education funds and ?

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LUM 81A L: I: L: Right, tight. doe? What is..your budget run for the coming year? Ltt.fa~~lmosm1 I hel/ev~ ,,.~t's 1 ti'. 10 I: 61 I 0., ty'---ese thousanrl. Have you found a difference, a great difference L: in the.salaries? That salary that you receive and the salary that the white who was former Board of Elections secretary\received when she was ? Well, the lady here, ': ! t5 , I believe she was making about 15.;~~lve--hunElred a -+y_e ___ a_r ___ ,_a_n_d_I_' m-o-n-ly making about L? fh<~:,~nd a year. I: So there is a difference. Of course, she had fourteen years experience. L: Right. I: But with the rate of inflation and the tremendous job that you do here, I feel like you're really being underpaid. Do you feel the same way? I have a lot more responsibilities now than she had. I have all the term elections, municipal elections to do) and she did not. I: Oh, then this is the new state law? L: Yes. I: When did this take effect? L: January 1. I: And have you done any municipal elections yet, or ? L: Yes, I've done school board and two special elections--three special r a 1},t,,,,,elect ions, o]rdb~hiy--and I have the municipal elections to take place

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LUM 81A 11 for the towns in November. I believe I got eleven towns in the county to conduct their elections. I: So this is really going to be a tremendous task for this office. L: It will. That's right, to have to prepare for each town and get each town's ballot written up. I: Tell me a little bit about your procedure ~in elections. How do you begin with the process of getting ready for an election? L: Well, first we have to process all our new registration forms and get those in the books. And I type up write up and type up the ,_, i.,,~ instructions for 1 registrars and ae,d..judges. And I: And what about ballots? What's the procedure? L: Yes,_ I have to make up the ballot and let the chairman of the board sign it. l-L_l:_:i __ my chairmen have to ~f1'ocf it and sign the ballot. So far, they've always been right. I: Uh-huh. L: And I have to get it printed. And if it's a county-wide election, I have to count out by finger how many ballots for each precinctplus you give' em one hundred per/:,ent plus five. pe1:tent. A hundred and five percent, that's what each precinct gets. I: That's the number of ballots. L: Um-hmm. [affirmative] I: \l,,.(J'A.., I see. ':DG-you usually.have some type of training for your precinct officials? L: Yes, uh-huh. I always have'em meet before before an election, I always have a training course, and go over the instructions to the registrar and the judges from each precinct. I: Do they get reimbursed for this activity?

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LUM 81A 12 L: Yes. They get paid for their knowledge, plus for a day's work. I: You mentioned that you were going to be in charge of the city election from now on, and that would include the city Boards of Education? L: Right. I: A delegat~on met with you and your Board of Trustees and talked to you about a problem that .. they had seen which would come up in the next election. Could you explain that a little bit to me? L: Well, the problem, we have the different school districts in the county, the city school boards I believe there's five school ('.l_,1V'\' , ,l boards in the county~ the county schools. And these city school boards , \ '. I . J. l ( tJ:ia-t don't run precinct-wiq;e or afl)i' , 1-.:. Ii\ .f.. just 1 at: .-t;lv t ch: inside the city limits :f''., r ~aks are outside -the city limits, out in the county. And I got to determine whether or not the people live inside the city school or county school and mark it on the books, so I'll know how many ballots to have printed and how many ballots to give each precinct, and how many well, who votes in the city school districts and who votes in the county. I: This is really going to be a complicated test because it's never been done before. Previously, though, the cities have handled their own elections, have they not? L: Right. I: Do you receive their registration they have their own set of L: registration books, do they not? I ..l,~d.J ,, __ . I Well, some of themjour registration books, but they took care of making up their own ballots

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LUM 81A 13 I: Uh-huh L: and they marked in the book, I guess, who gave -======:::...dtO ; 11 the school district. I: Soyou have found some discrepancies there about these people who decide they want the city administration. L: Right. I: How do you anticipate rectifying this situation, Mrs. Locklear? MO.X. L: Well, I guess I might have to hire additional help ,w go out to r 't'the school districts to the boundary lines, and just ~orVt> 'the V boundary lines back to the city limits to find out who lives in side the school district and who doesn't. I: You've already done this for one city election. Which one was that? L: St. Paul's. I: What kind of task did you find before you there? L: It's difficult. I: Vei-y difficult. Did you do this by yourself, or did you.have help? L: Yes, I went out by my-, well, I had my there was several precincts c./ involved/in this school board, and I had my precinct officials-the registrar in each precinct did help me. I: How many days did it take? L: Just about a week. I: And how many miles did you travel? L: I guess about four hundred and some. I: So, this is going to have to be done by when? L: Well, by November 6. Before November 6. It will have to be done. The ballots are supposed to be cleaned up about thirty days ahead

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LUM 81A 14 of time. I: Um-hmm. L: So I've got till maybe about the last of August, the middle of August, before I can start counting each district to find out how many ballots I will need printed I: Right. L: for each district. I: Are you going to seek additional funds to __ _ this? L: I'm asking for them, yes. I'm asking for an additional seventy five hundred dollars for this, so I will be able to hire if I can get some precinct officials who are familiar with the people to help me. ,. I: Right. Make your task a lot easier if you had some ~C~\-~t __ '~''_,. __ _ Gtl c, < .~' L: Right. I: fam.iliar with the geographical area also. What kind of co operation have you found from our county Board of Elections? L: Well. I: I mean, our County Board of Connnissioners. L: Well, sometimes they seem to cooperate, and then again~they don't seem to understand or even want to try to understand what the_ needs are. I: Um-hmm. L: I have had a few that I've asked them some things, or asked some things, and they wouldn't even consider--wouldn't even talk about it with me. I: Have you appeared for many county before any county commissioner

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LUM 81A 15 meetings? L: Yes. Two. I: It's been brought to my attention that you see a need or voting machines in this county. Could you tell me a little bit about why you feel this way? <\),, r;,v "::. o. ' "'~~. L: Yes. We have, like I said, just about thirty4-'e registered I: L: voters. At some of the larger polls, they work they go to the polls at six in the morning and work till six and seven the next morning. And that's not fair to ask someone to work at a poll} -,\)} . .;'•rt and they have to work those long hours--although we workm here, but still it would cut the hours down greatly, and it would cut the precinct help down tremendously~ and it would eventually they would pay for theirselves, for the machines. I took it before the county commissioners. My board members approved it, and it was took before the county commissioners. I have one commissioner that won '.t even look at the machine--! have one here in my office for demonstration. And when the commissioners, they have..--:==========-::::-:::.-::::::.--_ .. -_--__-_-_:, and when the connnissioners asked to --1(maybe tour the plantjJi \ ,, \;L\o.,.: 0 1 1\.. and make a decision on it. Well, when the day come to go to (Marion~) , _______ _.__ I had two connnissioners, the county manager, and myself and the other girl that works in here to go!" .Those-are all the county 'y,..:li-; that went. And it/f been completely dropped. How much monies would this cost the county? i!,). l) i'1 A voting machine costs around 6'..ient:y-one~-hundred-dollars. And it's a Printo-matic. \[":, '.\ !,,~ \ It gives you the totals and so forth, ~ee "\ i; I' v. __

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LUM 81A 16 on a sheet. And it would cost the county we would need eighty-four machines in the county, which would cost close II /(;J, OOJto a-li~-ght:y-tw"Cr-rtrousand = do:1:lars. I: But would the county have to pay for this at one time, or ? L: No. They could pay over a twenty-year period. I: Over a period of twenty years. What are some of the objections L: that you hear concerning voting machines for Robeson County? I -\--1:,\.\ ...,.,,\. L I have qui tE; a few t: -. t' " : nwell, I don't believe the people are ready for voting machines; I don't believe they could under stand how to vote on them"--but they're really so simple. If the people would just take one look at the machine, I feel sure that they are simpler than a paper ballot. I: Do you feel like the voting machine would help minority participating in voting or hinder it? L: I think it would help it. I: Do you think the uneducated person could learn to vote on the machine? How would you go about educating people to use the voting machine? L: Yes, an uneducated person could be taught how to vote on a voting machine. And if we purchase voting machines, they could be set up in the county prior to an election, and we could put someone at each precinct to teach the people how to use the ~e:t,,ag._machine. And also, an uneducated person, if they go to a precinct now to vote, they can ask for assistance and be assisted. They can also do the same with a voting machine. 1(1r:.,MTI: How has the community response been?

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LUM 81A 17 L: I've had quite a few people in from the outside, and everyone that has seen the machine has liked it. I: Um-hmm. What about minority peoples who have come in to see the machine? L: Yes. They've I: They've liked it? L: Yes, they've liked it. I: They've liked it. Do you think that now, the main opposition to the voting machine has come from your minority county commis-. sioners, has it not? L: Right. I: Do you feel like the minority people who have been :i:rr here, it L: J \,1c~l:--dv.,,, wasAlack of not knowing exactly what to expect, and the minority person's fear of a machine in general? Right, I think that's been the whole problem. Because ~nee the , "~~cc\~\-(Ja..boL~ ~d: 1 ..L minorit~ have seen it, they really, you know, they"'Eh0ught thought it would be difficult to operate 0 .I. thought our people \\ \\,.,f..\\_ couldn't operate ita> and once they've seen how simple it was, I think they'd realize that our people, the minority people, or uneducated people could operate it. I: So, right now the matter has just sort of been pushed aside by the L: Right. I: County Board of Commissioners. L: Right. I: Where does the Robeson County stand in relation to the state of North Carolina as far as number of registrations?

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LUM 81A 18 L: I believe we're ninth from the top. I: Ninth in the state? L: Uh-huh. [affirmative] I: So, something is it then your opinion that if voting machines L: I: are not bought for the county that perhaps some precincts will need to be split? Yes, they would. . '('f{ (,,',\'Ct I know over at PembrokeAwhere I'm registrar, in the last election we got to the polls around five-thirty, and we were there until seven ~~-;--the following morning, which was an awful long time to work and a registrar receives L: Twenty-five dollars I: A day, but it doesn't go into that second day, does it? L: Not:, I feel sure;. I think it should, because you work all day and all night. You're not able to go to another job the next morning and work all day there, so actually you're losing two days' work. I: Right, that's true. And then voting machines definitely would cut down on the number of counters, would they not? L: Right. In thirty or thirty-five minutes after the polls closed, you could have your returns in, and go home and fix your supper or eat ~upper and.go to bed. I: Uh-huh, and then it would definitely cut down .j:/rru registrar'd have to hire people to help count the paper ballots. L: Right, you wouldn't have to hire counters. And also, on some of the polls you could cut down on the assistance at the polls. Some of the polls are small, and just your registrar and the two judges--that would be all you would need.

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LUM 81A 19 I: What is the largest precinctin the county? L: I think Pembroke is the largest. I: And which precinct would be the smallest? L: I believe it would be Smyrna, or , ----_ J .... --_--'---'r_. ___ ,:...;;_, one of those. I: In minority registration, what has been the process to increase the minority registrants in Robeson County? Do you think the commission registrars had anything to do with this? L: Yes. The registration commissioners are doing a great job in registering the minorities. she did a tremendous job last year, last spring, registering. tt-P \ \/\, +lr l. She got, I'm sure;Athousands. I: Right. What define a commission registrar for us. L: A registration commissioner can go anyplace in the county and register anyone, and if they're needed or called upon, they-==. 7 ... ----c~eople like for'em to go.) I: Uh-huh. How many commission registrars do you now have? L: I think we have fourteen. I: And what are their races? L: Uh, we have five Indians and five blacks, and the other ones are white. I: Um-hunn. L: Four white. I: Have you gotten more response out of the minority registrars than '(::)•\ ~\(\\!. / Gtt-t-o-f the white?

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LUM 81A 20 L: Yes. I: How is a person chosen for this particular job? L: Well, they are recommended from someone within the community well, someone that's in need, they see a need for someone in their community or to register their people. There are I: Then it has to be approved by whom? L: Yeah, the county board has to approve the person. They have to approve the person. The County Board of Elections::::::====:::.,p t\ '( 'l i: { \.IJ O /' ___________ t the ,person, /\ I: Then the person has to be sworn in? L: Yes. If there's a I: I know that prior to 1971, there had been no minority commission .ffe---' registrars in Robeson County, and there'tt really a battle at one of the Board of Elections meetings concerning -~/s,.::;.;:a~m:;....:T~u~r~n~e~r;(=~:c__ , do you know anything about that? -----L: No, that was prior to my coming here. 'I. cJ._.::,,,\ 1 -l:: k\A0:,1.}, I: Joyce, how have you been received by county residents and county officials since you started work here? L: Well, I feel like the county--well, I'll say the whites in the county, 'cause it's true--has turned up their nose, and I've had f= r ,. u ... e.J i;-\ a hard time winning them over. I feel like after this last election in November, they were more with me than they were before, because they just didn't feel like a minority could handle the job. I: So I guess it's really been L: It's really been a struggle for me. I've had quite a bit of

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LUM 81A 21 controversy and so on since I've been here. I: I think it, uh then I think the situation was perhaps where they expected more out of you than they would have. L: Right. They always expect more than they would from one of their own. I: I remember some time ago something come out in the paper> some thing about the hours you were working, or something like this. L: Yes. The lady that was here ___:====~,._lyas white, and she worked from nine to five. And when it was brought up, someone reported me to the commissioners, and Mr. Graham said I knew what my hours were, from eight-thirty until five, and it was p.ublished in the paper. Well, I didn't know anything about the office hours. I I .,, /r.~formG.r/ worked from nine to five, that's what Miss r :: .. ;,,, ,i;•_.' .,.\told me 0 V / my office hours would be. And so Mr. Graham I: And who is Mr. Graham? L: He is the county manager. So, since then, I've been coming to work at eight-thirty. I: Do you get compensatory time for the time you have to spend on an election? L: I didn't before, but since then, if he wants to be that way, I can, too. So I turn it in. I: So prior to the controversy over what hours you work, you did not turn in overtime for elections? L: No. I: But now you are. L: Yes.

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LUM 81A I: Well, I certainly don't blame you for that. What about the people down at the courthouse? Do you feel like things are becoming better than what they were when you first started to working here? L: Yes, I do. When I first started working, rcould walk inif there'd be talking, looked like they would, you know, just shut up, and it made me feel like they were talking about me. I: Uh-huh. L: e,J.,M,,_.,.11 11 And they begin,i taking me in their conversations, and talking with me. I: What about whites who come in to register? L: I have had quite a few whites to come in to register, and they all seem to accept me. I: Um-lumn. L: Most of' em has been living out of state and moved here from where they only know two races, and most of them has accepted me t~, 'd (, <', ,_k 5tu ..J 1;\ i ,.., ., , c~; '.! :T'.; <:\+ \, i,~ I: What about -~~/registrars and judges? 22 L: Yes, at the beginning well, I've had one registrar to quit, he was white. And in the beginning, I've had some to tell me since the primary that they had thought about quitting because of what I was. But after they seen that I could do the job and that I was easy to get along with, I've had quite a few to commend me on the job I was doing, and tell me how good it was to be working with me.

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LUM 81A 23 I: You said one quit. L: Yes. I: Do you have any knowledge as to why? L: Yes, because of the board, the three races on the board~and myself. I: Because of the changeover. L: The changeover. I: Did he tell you why he was quitting? L: Yes, he did. I: How do you answer a person like that, Joyce? L: Well, I just said if that's the way you feel. If you eel that way, it's better that you do quit instead of pretending, and, you know, trying to work. Because you will never be satisfied working as a registrar and my giving instructions and so forth to you. I: Uh-huh. L: You wouldn't be content. I: I think minority people feel a lot freer about coming down here h).e.H, because minority people 1 made to feel in the past that this was a i', place where they didn't tread. Or have you heard stories as to this effect? L: Yes, I have. And I do feel like it's true. Before, there were only white in here, and I have seen times that the minority people did come in and they were kind of spoken to harshlwhen I first came here to work. But I try to make any person, that

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LUM 81A 24 walks in my door, I try to make him feel at home and comfortable. And I try to treat him as I would like to be treated. I: Hmm. I think you've done a sJendid job as far as that. Joyce, what about your physical facilities here? Do you feel like they're adequate, or ? L: No. I: You don't. Tell me a little bit why. You see, a person listening at the tape can't tell exactly where we're sitting and what it's like, so L: Well. I: tell me a little bit about what your offices are like here. L: We 're down in a basement. We have cement floors, plain cement floors with nothing on them. Cement walls, just like a basement. And we don't have any well, there's some windows, half-windowsyou can't see out of them. And we have the heat pipes upstairs down here We have the sewage pipes over there. We have many pipes running over our heads. And in the ' winter time when they heat upstairs, l.t's so hot in here, you just I guess it's about ninety downstairs. The pipes from upstairs, like I said, are over our heads. I: And they're exposed, are they not? L: Right, they are exposed. I: What other offices are down in the basement? L: An inspection building, the builders' inspector, electrical inspector, civil defense, and a fire marshall's office. Civil

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LUM 81A defense and the fire marshall' s office do L, r \~t '4,1 \ :f D -----~~~-•l_,_~_~lf'~ floors when we don't. I: Uh-huh. L: And our of ice is very small. We don't have enough room .• I: How many rooms do you have? L: We have two little small rooms. I: Um-hmm. L: Aud I don't have really enough filing space. We have two old metal cabinets to keep all our materials in, and that's about all we have. 25 I: What about your board of elections meetings? Do you hold them down d"O"-yo,:rhave to hold them here? L: We hold them here. I: What about county residents who would like to sit in on your meetings? Is there enough space? L: Well, if I know ahead of time that we will have quite a few people coming in, I try to reserve the auditorium upstairs. I: What's the name of the building that your office is in? L: It's the old agriculture building. I guess it's one of the oldest buildings in the county. I: Do you have adequate space for keeping your election ballots prior to an election? L: No. I: What do you do, then, Joyce? L: Well, when we divide them out and put them in boxes for each precinct, we usually have to walk over them. And I have stepped

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LUM 81A over them and even stepped on them many a times to get to what I needed. I: Uh-huh. L: Because there's no place to put them. I: I notice that you have ballot boxes and things stored in the hallway out there. L: Right. We have ballot boxes and booths stored in the hall. I: And there's no facilities, storage facilities as such? L: No. I: These ballot boxes, are they for the city elections? L: Yes, uh-huh. I: Well, Mrs. Locklear, it's been nice talking with you. Can you 26 tell me, though, what you foresee that the County Board of Elections' main responsibility to the minority people will be in the future? What needs to be done in order to increase minority representation here at the Board of Elections? L: Uh, more minority registration, more minority civic education, and more minority in office. I: Do you have any class groups that come by to visit the County Board of Elections? L: No. I: Well this, then, would be a need in the counties, to let children see just what takes place in here prior to an election. L: Right. I: Well, it's been nice talking to you, Mrs. Locklear. Thank you a lot.