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Nineteenth Century Elections
 

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California's citizens used tickets like these to vote in nineteenth century elections, instead of individually marked ballots such as are utilized today.


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Two tickets for Franklin Pierce and Winfield Scott date from California’s very first presidential election of 1852

Two tickets for Franklin Pierce and Winfield Scott date from California’s very first presidential election of 1852

These two tickets for Franklin Pierce and Winfield Scott date from California's very first presidential election of 1852

Secretary of State, Elections Division Records, California State Archives


Patriotic slogans ("The Union  Forever") and battle scenes (the sinking of the CSS <em>Alabama</em> by the USS <em>Kearsarge</em>) were printed on the reverse of many of California’s Civil  War-era ballot tickets during the presidential election of 1864. Patriotic slogans ("The Union Forever") and battle scenes (the sinking of the CSS <em>Alabama</em> by the  USS <em>Kearsarge</em>) were printed on the reverse of many of California’s Civil War-era ballot tickets during the presidential election of 1864.

Patriotic slogans ("The Union Forever") and battle scenes (the sinking of the CSS <em>Alabama</em> by the USS <em>Kearsarge</em>) were printed on the reverse of many of California’s Civil War-era ballot tickets during the presidential election of 1864. Patriotic slogans ("The Union Forever") and battle scenes (the sinking of the CSS <em>Alabama</em> by the USS <em>Kearsarge</em>) were printed on the reverse of many of California’s Civil War-era ballot tickets during the presidential election of 1864.

Patriotic slogans ("The Union Forever") and battle scenes (the sinking of the CSS Alabama by the USS Kearsarge) were printed on the reverse of many of California’s Civil War-era ballot tickets during the presidential election of 1864.

Secretary of State, Elections Division Records, California State Archives


Presidential candidate Ulysses Grant appears on this California ticket from 1868. Grant had visited California while he was an  army officer in 1852, and thus became the first president to have made the trip  to California.

Presidential candidate Ulysses Grant appears on this California ticket from 1868. Grant had visited California while he was an army officer in 1852, and thus became the first president to have made the trip to California. 

Secretary of State, Elections Division Records, California State Archives


Images of popular ex-Presidents even appeared on tickets from local elections.

Images of popular ex-Presidents even appeared on tickets from local elections.

Secretary of State, Elections Division Records, California State Archives


Election Proclamation, 1860. The presidential election of 1860, which this  proclamation announces, was one of the most contentious in the state's  history.  Many Californians held divided  loyalties on the eve of the American Civil War.  Outgoing governor John Weller suggested that California might  have to secede, and tensions were high as Californians went to the polls.  Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln faced  three opponents, and even though he won the state, less than one third of  California's voters cast their ballots for him.  No other presidential candidate before or since has won  California with a lower percentage of the total vote.  News of the election results spread fast.  The Pony Express brought word of Lincoln's  victory to California in a record-breaking seven and a half days.

Election Proclamation, 1860. The presidential election of 1860, which this proclamation announces, was one of the most contentious in the state's history.  Many Californians held divided loyalties on the eve of the American Civil War.  Outgoing governor John Weller suggested that California might have to secede, and tensions were high as Californians went to the polls.  Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln faced three opponents, and even though he won the state, less than one third of California's voters cast their ballots for him.  No other presidential candidate before or since has won California with a lower percentage of the total vote.  News of the election results spread fast.  The Pony Express brought word of Lincoln's victory to California in a record-breaking seven and a half days. 

Secretary of State, Elections Division Records, California State Archives


In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln ran for re-election in the midst of the American Civil War.  His opponent was George McClellan. Over 16,000 Californians served in the military during the Civil War, and a number of them were stationed outside of California at the time of the presidential election.  These soldiers were stationed everywhere from the Pacific Northwest to the deserts of the Southwest, and even the battlefields of Virginia.  Their ballots had to be transported hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles back to California for counting.  About six of out every ten California voters cast their ballots for Lincoln that year, but approximately nine out of every ten California soldiers stationed outside of the state voted for the incumbent president.  Their votes helped Lincoln win the Golden State and ultimately a second term of the presidency. This abstract from 1864 lists many of the locations where the soldiers voted.

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln ran for re-election in the midst of the American Civil War.  His opponent was George McClellan. Over 16,000 Californians served in the military during the Civil War, and a number of them were stationed outside of California at the time of the presidential election.  These soldiers were stationed everywhere from the Pacific Northwest to the deserts of the Southwest, and even the battlefields of Virginia.  Their ballots had to be transported hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles back to California for counting.  About six of out every ten California voters cast their ballots for Lincoln that year, but approximately nine out of every ten California soldiers stationed outside of the state voted for the incumbent president.  Their votes helped Lincoln win the Golden State and ultimately a second term of the presidency. This abstract from 1864 lists many of the locations where the soldiers voted.

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln ran for re-election in the midst of the American Civil War.  His opponent was George McClellan.  Over 16,000 Californians served in the military during the Civil War, and a number of them were stationed outside of California at the time of the presidential election.  These soldiers were stationed everywhere from the Pacific Northwest to the deserts of the Southwest, and even the battlefields of Virginia.  Their ballots had to be transported hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles back to California for counting.  About six of out every ten California voters cast their ballots for Lincoln that year, but approximately nine out of every ten California soldiers stationed outside of the state voted for the incumbent president.  Their votes helped Lincoln win the Golden State and ultimately a second term of the presidency. 

Secretary of State, Elections Division Records, California State Archives



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