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Run-off election envelopes from 1984 found hidden in wine shop basement

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It was just a normal day of business for Domaine South, a Downtown Huntsville wine shop. An employee was doing some stocking in the cellar when he discovered a shelf with a "false back."

He said he was scared to retrieve the old box, out of fear that something may crawl out of it.

But what he found struck a history-loving nerve. A box, full of election envelopes from 1984. The Democratic Primary run-off election to be specific.

Domaine South co-owner Kristian Dennis said they just found the discovery interesting.

"They were unopened and still addressed to Montgomery and they were from 1984," she explained to WHNT.  "So, they'd been down there for quite sometime. We just were curious as to what we had found. Frank Barger came over here today and picked them up."

Three of the envelopes were labeled "Absentee Ballot Box --- Madison County, Alabama."

While they appeared to be sealed absentee ballots from 1984, Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger said all of the envelopes had canvassing statements inside.

Political analyst Jess Brown said it's unlikely this election had any big state offices listed on the ballot at that time. Especially considering the presidential elections were the same year.

"The building's been around since the late 1800s. So, who knows how many offices and businesses have been in here," Dennis said.  "It was a diner at one time, it was a bank at one time, the original vault is still in the building. So, I think there's a lot of stories to be told."

Barger, alongside sheriffs deputies, picked up the box of the materials. He said they will turn them over to the local Democratic party.

The Democratic party will have the option to keep them or destroy them.

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