One update to the details below — there are now 9 Certificates of Votes available: Arizona, California, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia and Ohio (shown here).
The Electoral College held its one-day-only quadrennial session Monday, December 17, to elect the President and Vice President of the United States.
In compliance with the Constitution, the electors all met in their respective state capitals and signed their names to the state’s Certificate of Vote and sent copies to Congress and to the Office of the Federal Register of the National Archives, which administers the Electoral College.
So far there are only three: Ohio (shown here), Arizona, and North Dakota.
If you’d like to look over your state’s votes, go to www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2012/certificates-of-vote.html. Each state’s votes are posted online as soon as they are received at the Federal Register.
“Another Such Victory and I’m Undone!” 11/09/1922
From the Clifford Berryman Political Cartoon Collection
The Republican Party desperately fought to retain control of Congress in the 1922 midterm elections. Although prepared to lose some of their seats, they lost many more than expected and emerged from the election with only a very slim majority in both houses. As the beaten and battered elephant in the cartoon suggests, another attempt to maintain the Republican majority through such a brutal election cycle would likely end in defeat.
“Lan Sakes, What’ll I Do With ‘Em?”, 11/07/1912
Clifford Berryman’s “Miss Democracy” ponders what to do with the House, Senate, and White House, following Democratic victories in the 1912 Election, the result of a split in Republican party ranks produced by Theodore Roosevelt’s independent Progressive (Bull Moose) party candidacy.
President Harry S. Truman voting, November 2, 1948:
“It has been my experience in public life that there are few problems which cannot be worked out, if we make a real effort to understand the other fellow’s point of view, and if we try to find a solution on the basis of give-and-take, of fairness to both sides.”
-Harry S. Truman
President Truman at the polls, from the Truman Library.
Eleanor Roosevelt casts her ballot in Hyde Park, NY, in 1936 and 1960.
Mrs. Roosevelt was not able to vote in a Presidential election until the age of 36, when the 19th amendment was added to the Constitution.
The Nineteenth Amendment, ratified on August 18, 1920, prohibits any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote based on sex.
Image: Eleanor Roosevelt votes in Hyde Park, 11/03/1936 (ARC 196125), FDR Presidential Library
Image: Eleanor Roosevelt votes in Hyde Park, 11/06/1960 (ARC 195612), FDR Presidential Library
How They’re Acting and How They Feel: Candidates on the eve of the 1912 Presidential Election
On the eve of our next presidential election, we imagine that this cartoon depicting Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and William Howard Taft before the 1912 Presidential Election might ring true today. The divided cartoon drawn by Clifford Berryman reveals the confident public persona each candidate projects - how they’re acting - versus the nervousness each candidate undoubtedly feels as the election approaches.
Untitled [How They’re Acting and How They Feel] by Clifford Berryman, 11/5/1912, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 306083)
From the Election of 1872, held November 5:
Times were simpler before the voting machines came in! Here’s the Republican ballot for the 1872 Presidential election for the state of Louisiana (ARC ID 6919777).
Thanks to our colleagues at the National Archives at Fort Worth for posting this on their Facebook page!
Halloween Hoax, 10/31/1912
Clifford Berryman Political Cartoon Collection, Records of the U.S. Senate
During the Presidential Election of 1912, the Republican Elephant is spooked by the “hollow” threat of Teddy Roosevelt’s new Progressive “Bull Moose” party, which was poised to split the Republican vote.
Before my campaign begins, I would like to talk to you about my candidacy for President and about the future of the Democratic Party. Certainly, just meeting with you and reminiscing about the spirit that led to your upset victory over Thomas Dewey in 1948 would be an inspiration to Sargent Shriver and myself in the months ahead.”
-George McGovern letter to Harry S. Truman, 8/19/72
We were saddened to learn of the passing over the weekend of George McGovern, former South Dakota Senator and the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972.
McGovern wrote this letter to Harry S. Truman after the Democratic National Convention in 1972, hoping to get to come out and visit the former President. The handwriting in the upper right corner is Bess Truman’s note to Mr. Truman’s secretary, Rose Conway.
-from the Truman Library
Why do we have the Electoral College? Our Founding Fathers worried that even qualified citizens (generally white, male landowners) wouldn’t have the information necessary to make a truly informed decision.
So they decided to give the States the authority to appoint educated, well-read Electors to vote on behalf of their citizens. As the Constitution makes clear, the States elect the President and Vice-President, individuals don’t.
The Electoral College is managed by the Federal Register, part of the National Archives. You can learn more by visiting our website and watching our new video that explains how the votes actually get counted.
1964 Presidential Campaign - Civil Rights and the South
It was October 1964, and the November Presidential election was looming as parts of the country still seethed over the Civil Rights Act President Lyndon B. Johnson had signed into law just a few months earlier.
Many white southerners and politicians considered the law an assault on their long-established way of life. Southern Democrats threatened to bolt as racial politics threatened to splinter the party and cost Johnson the election.
It was during this tumultuous time that Lady Bird Johnson embarked on perhaps her most difficult assignment as First Lady. In a four-day, 1,628-mile trip aboard a train dubbed the Lady Bird Special, the First Lady traveled through eight southern states.
This was the first time a First Lady campaigned on her own for her husband and she championed the new legislation that eliminated “Jim Crow” laws and guaranteed African Americans access to all public accommodations and the right to equal employment opportunities.
Along the way, Mrs. Johnson was met with invective that no first lady has experienced since. But the ultimate success of the trip, as she defended the need for the Civil Rights Act, was a testament to Lady Bird’s spirit and stoicism.
While she loved her role as First Lady, she wrote at the end of her tenure, “I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience. But not for anything would I pay for the price of admission again.”
Images: “Please don’t forget to vote” Postcard, 1964 ; Lady Bird Johnson on her Whistle Stop Tour. 10/6/64.
They Won’t Agree on Anything!
Clifford Berryman, artist. 9/24/1922
Records of the U.S. Senate
This cartoon shows Congress adjourning and members returning home to campaign for reelection. As they exit the Capitol, the Republican elephant and Democratic donkey have differing perspectives on the session. The elephant remembers Republican successes while the donkey remembers the Republican majority’s failures; each hope this leads to his party’s victory in the upcoming election.
This is the resolution proposing the Twenty-Fourth Amendment, which was ratified January 23, 1964, and grants that the right to vote shall not be denied by reason of failure by a U.S. Citizen to pay any poll tax. Poll taxes were used by some states during Reconstruction to prevent African Americans from voting.
Joint Resolution Proposing the Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 08/27/1962