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Charles H. Persons Ballot Initiative - 1896
Presidential Election


Dublin Core


Charles H. Persons Ballot Initiative - 1896
Presidential Election


A collection of 39 reply letters responding to a request by Charles H. Persons, Maynard Town Clerk, requesting "for comparison a sample or specimen of the ballot used in every state in the Union in this National Election".
There were 45 states in the Union in 1896 with Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii all attaining statehood after the turn of the century.

Top: Cover letter sent to states with a hand reply by Vermont Secretary of State office.
2nd: Stamped self addressed reply envelope
3rd: New Jersey Republican and Democratic Ticket
4th: Back of New Jersey Ticket
5th: Presidential section of New Hampshire ballot
Bottom: Another sample ballot.





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The states that replied: AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, UT, VA, VT, WA, Wy.
The candidates for the major parties were William McKinley, Republican and William Jennings Bryan, Democrat. In some states their names did not appear on the ballot but rather a list of electors that would meet to determine the state winner. Many states had more than two parties ex. Pennsyllvania had 10 parties listed: Republican, Democratic, Prohibition, Peoples, Socialist Labor, National, Free Silver, McKinley Citizens, Crow Anti Combine, and Jeffersonian.
North Carolina replied that "There is no official ballot in this state."
Virginia could not supply a copy of the ballot as all unused ballots were destroyed by law. Virginia's Secretary of the Commonwealth sent along a 26 page booklet : "Extracts from Virginia Election Law". He would "be glad to comply with your request if possible".

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