Tom Glaze, a Supreme Court justice, Court of Appeals judge and chancellor for some 30 years and a lifelong scourge of voting fraud, died early this morning from complications of Parkinson’s and Lewy body disease. He was 74.
Glaze came to the public’s attention in 1964 as a young law school graduate investigating voting fraud for a Winthrop Rockefeller-inspired outfit called the Election Research Council. He was so consumed by the fraud uncovered in that election that he devoted the next dozen years to fighting it and educating the public and officialdom about how elections should be conducted, for Rockefeller and then as deputy attorney general under Joe Purcell. He wrote the reformed election code that the legislature, to his dismay, stripped of real reforms and passed in 1969. Then he started an organization called The Election Laws Institute, which led him into pitched court battles in Conway County and several other counties over election fraud. It led to the demise of the Marlin Hawkins political machine in Conway County.
He spent 21 years on the Supreme Court, reaching oratorical heights on election cases when he chastised fellow justices, the courts in general and other officials for not getting to the bottom of, and punishing, illegal election conduct.
Glaze had been a five-sport star at Joplin, Mo., and was catcher for the Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team. He celebrated his reputation as a tough guy, which he tried to ameliorate in his later years.
By the way, his memoir of the election wars and the politics of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Waiting for the Cemetery Vote, published last year by the University of Arkansas Press, is a good read.
Funeral arrangements, by Roller Funeral Home, are pending, but the family hopes to have visitation Monday and the funeral on Tuesday.
— Ernie Dumas