Elections

Maine and Nebraska allocate two electoral votes to the statewide winner but allow each congressional district to award one electoral vote to the popular vote winner in their specific locality.

Why Do Maine and Nebraska Split Their Electoral Votes?

Instead of a winner-take-all system, the states use the "congressional district method"

A young man watches incoming presidential election results in 2016 on the giant screens of Times Square.

Anxious About Election Results? Here's What's Happening in Your Brain as You Wait

Scientists are learning more about the neuroscience of awaiting uncertain outcomes

Glass ballot boxes were used as a way to show voter transparency at the polls and became popular in the late 1800s.

A Glass Ballot Box Was the Answer to Voter Fraud in the 19th Century

This transparent approach let voters know that their ballots were counted

Five to ten percent of people will read an email, but 80 to 90 percent of people will read a text.

How the 2020 Presidential Race Became the 'Texting Election'

Campaigns took full advantage of text-to-donate technology and peer-to-peer texting to engage voters this election cycle

An elegant solution—raise money from donors to underwrite the purchase of food locally for polling stations in each city—tacos in Milwaukee, barbecue in Atlanta, cupcakes in Houston, empanadas in Portland, burritos in L.A.

Chefs Are Helping Hungry Voters Waiting in Line at the Polls

One clear winner this election season? Everything from empanadas to barbecue, courtesy of star chef José Andrés and his partners

Part of the Crow reservation is in Montana's Big Horn County, but the at-large election system meant that the first Crow county commissioner wasn't elected until 1986.

To Make Native Votes Count, Janine Windy Boy Sued the Government

'Windy Boy v. Big Horn County' helped ensure the Crow and Northern Cheyenne were represented, but the long struggle for Native voting rights continues

Ostraca are rare artifacts of actual democratic procedures. They can reveal hidden bits of history that were omitted by ancient chroniclers and offer insight into voter behavior and preferences that would otherwise be lost.

Ancient Greeks Voted to Kick Politicians Out of Athens if Enough People Didn't Like Them

Ballots that date more than two millennia old tell the story of ostracism

Labor leader Min Matheson was an inspiration to the garment workers she organized in Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley. Here, ILGWU members picket in Scranton in 1958.

The True Story of Min Matheson, the Labor Leader Who Fought the Mob at the Polls

The activist rallied garment workers and combated organized crime interests in northeast Pennsylvania in the mid-20th century

An oil-cloth cape worn by a young Republican during a late-night, torch-lit campaign march ahead of the 1880 presidential election.

When Young Americans Marched for Democracy Wearing Capes

In 1880, a new generation helped decide the closest popular vote in U.S. history

Anti-war Democrats objected to mail-in voting, citing widespread fears of voter fraud, as well as intimidation on the part of the pro-Republican military.

The Debate Over Mail-In Voting Dates Back to the Civil War

In 1864, Democrats and Republicans clashed over legislation allowing soldiers to cast their ballots from the front

Su Nueva Laundromat in West Lawn, Chicago, is the official polling place for about 700 registered voters.

Eight of America's Most Unusual Polling Places

To capture democracy in America, photographer Ryan Donnell tracks down polls in surprising locations across the country

A Virginia woman votes early in the 2020 general election.

How Women Vote: Separating Myth From Reality

Suffragists said women voting would transform politics. Here’s how women have wielded the ballot in the past century, according to a political scientist

Susan B. Anthony (seen here in 1898) was fined $100 for casting her vote in the 1872 presidential election.

In 1872, Susan B. Anthony Was Arrested for Voting 'Unlawfully'

President Donald Trump posthumously pardoned the pioneering activist on the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage

Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter with his wife, Rosalynn, and their daughter, Amy, exit the Baptist church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, in 1976.

An Interview With 'Playboy' Magazine Nearly Torpedoed Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Campaign

The pious Georgia Democrat spoke earnestly of his views on sex, a bridge too far for an emerging behemoth voting bloc: conservative Christians

John F. Kennedy addresses the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles after being nominated for President.

The Top 10 Political Conventions That Mattered the Most

As the two parties shift their conventions to be mostly virtual, we look at those conventions that made a difference in the country’s political history

When Geraldine Ferraro accepted the Democratic party's nomination on July 19, 1984, she became the first woman to be a major party's candidate for vice president.

How Geraldine Ferraro's 1984 Campaign Broke the Vice-Presidential Glass Ceiling

The charismatic congresswoman from Queens forged a path for women in American politics

The League of Women Voters led registration efforts across the country.

What the First Women Voters Experienced When Registering for the 1920 Election

The process varied by state, with some making accommodations for the new voting bloc and others creating additional obstacles

Margaret Chase Smith sworn in on June 10, 1940 to fill the vacancy left by her husband, Rep. Clyde Smith. Left to right in the picture: Margaret Chase Smith, Speaker William Bankhead and Rep. James C. Oliver, Republican of Maine, who sponsored Mrs. Smith

The History of Wives Replacing Their Dead Husbands in Congress

This tradition was one of the main ways American women gained access to political power in the 20th century

In 1836, both camps in the so-called Bank War—supporters of U.S. president Andrew Jackson, and supporters of the Second Bank of the United States president Nicholas Biddle—lobbed accusations of conspiracy to sway Americans to their sides.

Conspiracy Theories Abounded in 19th-Century American Politics

Rumors of secret alliances, bank deals, and double-crossings were rampant in early American elections

The advantages of gear-and-lever voting machine, c. 1898, over the ballot box were many, including that it kept a running count, thus speeding up the reporting of results.

When Pulling a Lever Tallied the Vote

An innovative 1890s gear-and-lever voting machine mechanized the counting of the ballots so they could be tallied in minutes, not hours or days

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