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"True Republican Ticket" Ballot, 1860

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This ballot for the Election of 1860 was a straight ticket ballot distributed by the Republican party for their members to use when they publicly cast their ballot.
Courtesy of the State Historical Society of Iowa, 1860


Before the secret ballot was adopted, voting was done publicly. Political parties actually gave ballots like this one to members. When it was time for someone to cast their vote, they took the straight ticket ballot and put it in the voting box. 

Transcript of "True Republican Ticket" Ballot

Source-Dependent Questions

  • In the election of 1860, ballots like this were created and given out by political parties. Voters would place the entire ticket in the ballot box. Today, voters have the option to vote for each office individually. Which method do you think is the most fair? Why?
  • The title of this ticket is "The True Republican Ticket." What does that name imply?
  • How might local events have an affect on national races given the straight ticket voting process?